A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Position-Finding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2017 Mar 20, 17:36 -0700
Venus can swing by the Sun at unusually high ecliptic latitude. On March 25, Venus will pass the Sun, and Venus and the Sun will be on the same ecliptic longitude. Venus will be as directly in line with the Sun as it can be on this orbital cycle, but its ecliptic latitude will still be 8.2°. This means you'll be able to observe Venus in daylight with a small telescope as a fine thin crescent, but thanks to the atmosphere of the planet, the crescent can extend more than 180°. This distance at the present inferior conjunction is so large that the extension beyond 180° may be tough to see, but you'll definitely be able to follow the planet right through its minimum approach to the Sun by watching in daylight. The orientation of the crescent will swing around rapidly, changing every day but of course always facing the Sun (here's a photo of this rotation, already underway posted just yesterday at spaceweather.com). Just make sure you set up at a location where you can put the Sun behind a building or a tree.