Help needed for a final time – image Venus and the Moon

Forums General Discussion Help needed for a final time – image Venus and the Moon

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    Carolyn Kennett
    Hi all, 
    I want to thank everyone who got involved last month and sent me your image of the Moon and Venus. You may recall we are having a final attempt this month. Exactly the same as before except we would like you to image the Moon with Venus on Tuesday evening at 9.30pm (local time). 
    Once all this attempt is over, we will work on the calculations from all the attempts and I will let you know how we have got on
    thank you once again for your help. 
    here is more details from last times request about what we are doing.
    I am involved in a Heritage Lottery funded project where we have been celebrating the types of historical measurements astronomers used in the past. Part of this has been a parallax project where we have been asking people each month to take an image of the crescent moon and Venus. From this, we are going to use parallax (peoples locations around the globe and the orientation of the crescent to Venus) and measure the distance to the moon, much in the way the Transit of Venus was used to measure an astronomical unit. I know a few of you took part last month and I thank you for all your excellent images. We are asking people to take part again this month for a second attempt.
    So if you would like to join in and it is safe for you to do so, can you take an image of the crescent moon and Venus on Saturday night at 8pm local time on your cameras and send it to us either here or my email or @mayescreative on social media.
    I will need to know your location of where the image was taken from, but a general location is fine eg Bristol.
    more information can be found out about the project here
    Neil Morrison

    In The Diary fingers crossed for  the continuation of clear evening skies.

    James Lancashire

    Am curious as to why Tuesday 28th rather than the much closer conjunction tonight (Sunday 26th).
    Will try for a fourth monthly photo will the weather holds!

    Bill Barton

    Telescope not required!

    A single shot with both the Moon and Venus on it is what is requested.

    Dr Paul Leyland

    Faced with the difficulty of getting to La Palma where my observatory is located, I purchased a 10″ Dobsonian cloud maker on eBay so that I could at least try to do something.

    It was dispatched on Friday and will likely arrive just in time for the requested observations.

    Sorry folks, but tonight is probably the last clear night until June, by which time it won’t get dark at night anyway.

    (Added in edit) It arrived a couple of hours ago, and very effective it is too. Rain has been persisting it down since last night.

    Neil Morrison

    Diary  note   actioned .  Pouring with rain all day.  However  her is an image   taken on the 26 th April  as a precaution against today’s   forecast.  Time 19h 53m Gmt   85mm F1.4 Samyang Lens as in previous image  submitted.

     Location Crawley West  Sussex  51 deg 07′ 48″  North    0 deg 12′ 31″ West.


    Carolyn Kennett

    Thank you all

    I think the weather beat us on this one here in the UK. I am very grateful for all your efforts and will report back with the results from the three attempts we have run

    best wishes


    Carolyn Kennett

    Hello all 

    I wanted to report back how close a result we got from our parallax project. 

    We had 3 attempts.

    The first in February:

    We had a good response but mainly from the UK, the furthest image we had to use as a baseline for the Parallax was from Portugal, we saw this as a trial run. The resulting distance we calculated was 271734km and the Moon was 360461km away from Earth, so we were a whopping 24.6% out.

    The second in March:

    We got lots of images to use for the March attempt, including some lovely ones from the Abu Dhabi Observatory and one form the Philippines which really helped us get a better idea of the parallax shift. This resulted in a calculated distance of 340014km, the Moon at that time was 357122km away so just a 5.03% difference, which I thought was pretty amazing.

    The third in April:

    The final attempt in April was marred by clouds here in the UK, although I had clear skies in the southwest. We did have a number of US observers taking part including members of Flagstaff and Joe Pasachoff in New York, which made the whole thing seem pretty international. We got a resulting distance of 315736km, the Moon at this date was 356906km away, so we had a difference of 11.5% – pretty respectable.

    So overall the second attempt had the closest result. There were lots of lessons learnt along the way, but we were pretty pleased with the results. We really enjoyed this and may run something similar in the Autumn.

    We followed Ernie Wrights methodology

    My son who is an A-level student wrote a short computer program which scale plated all the images and came up with averages. A Mayes Creative intern from Exeter University made all the calculations with guidance from myself. 

    If you have enjoyed this maybe you would like to check out the following which Jay Pasachoff kindly shared with me

    Pasachoff, Jay M., Bernd Gährken, and Glenn Schneider, 2017, “Using the 2016 transit of Mercury to find the distance to the Sun,” The Physics Teacher 55, 3 (March), 137-141: cover illustration plus article:

    Alan Stern et al., New Horizons team, from beyond Pluto:


    Udo Backhaus, Germany, from the 2019 transit of Mercury:


    thank you everyone for your interest and taking part.

    Best wishes


    James Lancashire

    Very low view. Lucky after cloudy evenings recently.
    Mercury is level with Moon top centre.
    Probably the last show from Venus after spectacular spring showing.

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