Wednesday, April 22, 2009



This morning, as I went out to get the newspaper, I looked up to see the beginning of an occultation of Venus with the waning crescent moon. I was quite surprised, because I didn't know it was going to happen. Usually, the Engineering Geek, who is quite the amateur astronomer, keeps me apprised of these things!
I dropped the paper on the porch and ran in to grab the EG, shaving lather all over his face, as well as my camera.

I also got the Boychick up. I have learned never to say, "Hey, Boychick, do you want to see an occultation of Venus and the Moon?"
Instead, I pounded on the door and yelled, "Hey, Boychick! Hurry! You've got to see this!"
He responded, "What?"
I pretended not to hear. I yelled, banging louder, "Hurry up! You'll miss it!"
Pure curiosity thus achieved what an invitation to learning alone would not.

Here is the rare and wonderful sight

just a moment before first contact,

which is when the planet Venus

appears to just touch the bright curve

of the lunar crescent.

April 22, 2009, 6:13 AM MDT

A few minutes later we see the moment of second contact, when the planet Venus seems

to disappear behind the crescent moon!

Unfortunately, we were not able to see the end of the occultation, when Venus would appear to emerge from behind the shadowy dark of the waning moon. The sun was up by 7:05 AM, and we could scarcely see the Crescent, and we could not find Venus at all!

There are more wonders in the natural world than we can imagine. And today! Today, thank goodness I stopped to see this great sight!

For more on the occultation, check out the Sky and Tel' site.

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