John's Nature Pictures


On Friday the 13th of January, 2006, the planet Venus was only 5.5 degrees north of the sun from Earth's perspective. Only 1% of the visible side was illuminated. I observed it from Mason Park in Los Angeles at around noon, for a couple of hours, as storm clouds were approaching. The seeing was reasonably good, and there were hints of the light wrapping all the way around the planet (due to refraction through the atmosphere). Here's a snapshot I made by hand-holding my camera with a 50mm lens up to the 14mm eyepiece of my home-made 8" f/5 telescope.


I took this picture with my eight inch telescope. Effective focal length is about 40,000mm at f/200. Just to the right of the planet you will see Ganymede, one of his moons. Ganymede is the biggest moon in the solar system - a lot bigger than the planet Mercury! The big black dot is the shadow of Ganymede. The small black dot is the shadow of Europa.

Picture #081 -  copyright © 1998 by John Sherman


Picture #