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SUWANNEE SKIES OBSERVATORY
OLD TOWN, FL
11/24/2013

Sunday afternoon, November 24, I was emailed a question regarding the
identity of a" bright object in the southwest".  The questioner was, of
course, referring to the planet Venus, which is currently about mag. -4.6,
and distinctly visible in the SW for several hours after sunset. Since it
was a pretty clear day, I decided to try and locate it with binoculars even
though it was bright daylight at 4 PM Eastern.  I checked the current
coordinates with "The Sky6," my venerable planetarium program, and found it
was just west of south at azimuth 203 degrees, and an elevation of 31
degrees.  I grabbed my trusty Canon 10x30IS binocular, and commenced a
patterned search beginning due south and about 1/3 of the way from horizon
to zenith.    I scanned up and down, moving west, overlapping the field of
view by about 50% each scan.  After a few scans, "Bingo!,"  the bright half
moon-shaped object popped into view.  I carefully sidestepped westward, in
order to put the planet near the most eastward twig of one of my backyard
Live Oaks.  I marked the spot with a couple of handy nearby large twigs
fallen from the aforementioned Live Oak, donned my distant vision
eyeglasses, and carefully scanned the area for a faint dot of light.  After
a few seconds of  careful scanning, I was able to spot the faint white dot
of Venus against the bright blue sky.

Many people do not realize it is possible to view bright planets in
daytime, but I have been successful over the years in finding Venus and
Jupiter a number of times.  You can use a well aligned computerized
telescope, with a very low power, wide field eyepiece, or scan the right
area with wide field binoculars.  I have been successful with both
approaches.  I challenge fellow AAC observers to give it a try.

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