BAA M&V Section: forthcoming analyses of the Ashen Light

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Richard McKim

I hope all observers will have a look. In two papers just accepted for the Journal, I have analysed all 14 elongations of Venus for 2007 till the start of 2018, and the second paper deals with the nocturnal hemisphere. I am copying the Abstract here in case it is of interest to members: Here we discuss the nocturnal hemisphere, with details of infrared thermal emission (IRTE) imaging and the Ashen Light (AL).  Images of the IRTE revealed up to nine topographic features upon the surface of the planet and enabled the slow rotation rate of the surface to be measured for the first time from amateur images.  D.Gasparri was able to record subtle, large-scale IR-absorbing low-altitude clouds, which were more prominent in 2009 than in 2017. The 2017 inferior conjunction saw remarkable high resolution reached by P. Miles and A. Wesley: the small bright spots they were able to resolve upon the planet’s surface might provide evidence for active volcanism. The AL was recorded in a small number of visual observations, though only a few sightings were confirmed by a second observer.  However, on 2009 Mar 12 the AL was imaged in the visible waveband by Gasparri and independently observed at the eyepiece – at the same hour – by G. Adamoli.  The few positive AL sightings seem to be linked to solar Coronal Mass Ejection events. We review possible mechanisms to account for the AL.

So there will be quite a lot in print in due course. Meanwhile I remind all serious observers that the Ashen Light can only be searched for against a properly dark sky background, and that the declination at inferior conjunctions determines whether the northern or southern hemisphere will be suitable from which to make observations.

Richard McKim, Director