Hi Mike,

Paul G. Abel

Hi Mike,

I think I’m one of those lucky chaps who can see Venus in the daytime sky without optical aid- indeed, most of my Venus work is done in the daytime as the bright sky greatly reduces the glare from the disk.

As the planet heads towards superior conjunction, it drops in brightness and can be hard to see, so another technique is to offset from the Sun.  To anyone reading this: Only try this if you’re an experienced observer- if you’re not sure, don’t do it!  

First make sure your telescope is capped.  Next, project the sun on to some white card/paper with your finderscope so that it is in the centre then cap your finderscope.  Lock the telescope into position then rotate your RA and Dec circles so that they read the RA and Dec of the sun.  Next move your telescope to the coordinates of Venus.  After making sure the sun is nowhere near the field of view (again using projection with your finderscope), use a low power eyepiece and you should see the planet in the field.  

I have used this method for a good few years now on those days when it is slightly hazy and pick,ing up the planet in the daytime sky can be harder.  I should say that anyone who doesn’t feel at least 110% confident should catch the planet in the dawn or dusk skies instead rather than trying this method!