A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2020 Mar 31, 14:54 -0700
Venus shines by reflected light, like all the planets and moons and minor planets, too. Although all planets emit more enegy than they receive from the Sun (famously Jupiter), this does not make them glow visibly. It's only a slight excess from internal energy sources. The evidence that Venus shines by reflected light was first noticed by Galileo. It goes through phase, like the Moon, and sometimes displays a beautiful crescent even through a small telescope. Right now Venus is about half full and quite small, in terms of angular diameter, so no phase will be visible in common sextant scopes or binoculars.
Yesterday, I intended to post about the phase of Venus so I simulated it in Stellarium showing how it would look through a small telescope. Sure enough: about half full. As I was maneuvering around in the display, I clicked on an odd spot on Venus and the name of a Venusian surface feature appeared on screen, as you can see in the screen cap below. Small world!