A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2020 Jul 26, 21:18 -0700
There's a relatively easy way to Venus this week. You'll need two clear days, not necessarily in a row.
For a few days, extending to about a week, the Sun and Venus have about the same Declination, both near +19°. They are separated by about 3h 11m or roughly 48° in hour angle (SHA, GHA, LHA, or just plain old HA ...they all work here since we're talking about a difference). Venus is leading.
On the first day of this project, go outside when the Sun is relatively high in the sky. I would suggest not lower than 45°. Find a convenient foreground feature like a roof peak, or the top of a flag pole, or a prominent easily-identified tree limb. Find a viewing location where the Sun is exactly eclipsed by that foreground feature. Mark the ground where you're standing with a rock and note the time. On the second day of the project, go outside 3h 10m earlier than your previous day's sun alignment and stand in that same spot (that you marked with a rock --which no one has moved in the mean time!). Venus will be right there, and you should have no problem picking it up with binoculars. Better yet, since it is near a foreground feature, because you planned it that way, you should be able to see it naked eye.
Another option: can you predict where the Sun will be at high noon (LAN)? Venus will arrive there 3h 10m earlier. You could get a nice "Venus meridian" latitude this way.