Venus and Jupiter

I have decided not to add any photographs in this post (but I’m going to) I was hoping I could explain to you, maybe the one or two readers I have, the wonder of this time of Venus’ synodic cycle, which is 584 days or 1.6 years. Put simply, Venus takes 225 days to orbit the Sun, Earth 365, but 584 days for Venus to lap Earth.
Please look at the table below.
Inferior conjunction is Earth/Venus/Sun in a line.
Superior conjunction is Earth/Sun/Venus in a line.
Max elongation W is when Venus is the highest it can be in the pre-dawn sky.
Max elongation E is when Venus is the highest it can be in the post-dusk sky.
The stations are an easy concept to understand but too hard for to describe here. But if you could draw a line of the planet’s position in comparison to background stars, there would be a period when the planet travels in a  retrograde direction.

8 15 2015 Inferior Conj. 19:22 GMT … 22Le39
9 6 2015 Direct Station 8:30 GMT … 14Le23
10 26 2015 Max. Elong. W. 7:20 GMT … 16Vi07
6 6 2016 Superior Conj. 21:51 GMT … 16Ge36
1 12 2017 Max. Elong. E. 16:12 GMT … 9Pi48
3 4 2017 Retro. Station 9:09 GMT … 13Ar09
3 25 2017 Inferior Conj. 10:17 GMT … 4Ar57
4 15 2017 Direct Station 10:18 GMT … 26Pi55
6 3 2017 Max. Elong. W. 6:16 GMT … 27Ar03
1 9 2018 Superior Conj. 7:01 GMT … 18Cp57
8 17 2018 Max. Elong. E. 8:09 GMT … 10Li18
10 5 2018 Retro. Station 19:04 GMT … 10Sc50
10 26 2018 Inferior Conj. 14:16 GMT … 3Sc06
11 16 2018 Direct Station 10:51 GMT … 25Li14
1 6 2019 Max. Elong. W. 6:10 GMT … 28Sc45
8 14 2019 Superior Conj. 6:08 GMT … 21Le11
3 24 2020 Max. Elong. E. 7:37 GMT … 20Ta08
5 13 2020 Retro. Station 6:46 GMT … 21Ge50

Now so what, you may say. Fair enough. Well this period of Venus’ station coincides with Jupiter being high in the evening sky too. This occurred at last synodic period also, but it was about a month earlier. Now our relationship with Jupiter is pretty simple. We lap it every 399 days.

Now this is the clincher for me. You may know I am obsessed with the 3D nature of long distance photography. When I look at the stars and the planets, it is really hard for me to envisage 3D, especially at such a grand scale. But with these two planets where they are at the moment, you can. Imagine a big disc, and we are about 1/3 of the way from the middle of the disc. After the Sun sets, you see Venus which is not only closer to the Sun, but is on the same side of Sun as us, and is travelling faster than us. Higher up you see Jupiter, which is on the other side of the Sun and about 2/3 out from the disc. (Saturn is at the limit of our naked eye viewing at 3/3. So your eyes are skimming across this great distance with perception of depth. I just love it. I will get a pic later.

Now the Sun set not so long ago; the first celestial objects I spotted were Venus quickly followed by Jupiter.Venus and Jupiter 1

Very faint but you can see them. I’ll grab another one later.

Here it isVenus and Jupiter 2

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The Changing Seasons. July 2018

Ok, it’s July 31. I’ve had enough of this Winter thing now. I know we still have another three months of it to go down here in Victoria.
I have been playing a lot of music lately so my photos have suffered. And I am itching to get out on the water again. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I’m off to Gippsland again.
Also, Jo and I have been slowly emptying rooms here. After living here for 20 years, we are yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll get there. Here’s some pics from July. Added for Su’s Changing Seasons which can be found here.

The Changing Seasons June 2018

June 30 already! It is been a different month for us with me changing to working 0.7, and preparing to move off the farm to a suburban block. I have added the usual bunch of cloudy watery pics with a couple of ring-ins taken by others.

Driving in the country in Australia, especially at night, and more so in Winter, is a challenge due to our lovely furry friends jumping in front of us without warning. This photograph is doctored but is a timely reminder for all of us to slow down a bit and keep our eyes peeled.kangaroo

Last week Jo and went to see a special viewing of movie called Brothers’ Nest. Shane Jacobson attended the screening with an introduction and post movie Q&A session. I enjoyed the movie very much. It could be classified as a black comedy. For Australians it is nothing like Kenny. It’s distribution may be limited to Australia. Jo and I are in this photo but we cannot be resolved.brothers nest

Thanks again Su for running changing seasons. See her blog here.

Port Phillip Bay June 2018

I get out sampling a fair bit these days. It’s a great job; I’m so lucky to have it this late in my career. The youngies put up with my whinging about my back or something else that might be bothering me. We get the work done no matter what the weather. On Thursday 21 June, our Winter solstice, we a had a glorious day for sampling on the Bay. Port Phillip is a large (1930 sq km), very open and mostly shallow embayment. It is separated from the sea by a narrow opening referred to as the rip; mainly because with tidal changes, the sea rips through there at quite a rate. Having said that, we do not have tidal variations seen in other parts of the world like Cornwall or The Kimberley; the Bay would indeed be a very different place if that was to occur. I have seen seals, dolphins, penguins and many migratory birds in the Bay. Whales visit, but I am yet to see one. Being next to a city of more than 4 million people, it has been hammered over the years. Treated sewer still empties into it; it has been over-fished and subject to many nasty pollution events. At its northern, southern and western ends it is has been deeply dredged for shipping. Despite this, it is still beautiful. Here’s some pics from the other day.

 

 

 

The Changing Seasons May 2018

Late again. May started warm and ended quite cold. The fire is chugging along quite nicely and days are short. And at the end of May I got the dreaded Manflu.
It has been a month of car breakdowns. I have a bad habit of holding on to cars for too long and yes, they breakdown spectacularly. I’m out of pocket over 2 K and this car is running nicely one minute then all of a sudden, no transmission. On the freeway, thankfully out of the burbs. I just managed to get the car off the road, rang roadside assist and waited in the cold on the other side of the armco railing for a tow, because every monster truck that went by would wobble the car. That’s cars.
What a great day I had with the sampling team on Port Phillip Bay. The Bay was lumpy but we managed to finish all 6 sites, replicates and blanks. And we did all of this in 9 hrs.
Later in May our team headed down to Lake Wellington, the westernmost lake of the Gippsland Lakes, to investigate more sampling sites and to be involved in a media event. Lake Wellington is a large shallow brackish lake. It is partially surrounded by farmland and an RAAF air base. The LaTrobe River empties into it. I had initially requested to be not interviewed but I gave in and accepted it in the end. I was zero prepared. My colleague did not skip a beat but I bumbled my way through my bit. Thankfully, the editing skills of the journalist made me sound like a professional.
Now I’m 60 I’m grabbing every opportunity I have to make my life more interesting. I have not always done this; I don’t regret it because you can’t turn back time. There are also many very valid reasons why I have lived my life as I have to date; not a topic for these pages as I would bore you to tears.
I’ll add some photos below for Su’s changing seasons .

The Changing Seasons April 2018

April for me has been mixed, with some highs and some lows. I know people like a good read, but I live my life with Jo and the dogs, play music, take photos and measure things. I wish I could enjoy writing but I just make a hash of it most of the time. Here is some photos from April 2018. Still warm here, even today on May 1. Colder nights and mornings. The beach is all (mostly) packed up, with our caravan still in a suburban driveway waiting to be brought home by a suitable vehicle. Thanks again Su for you inspiration and changing seasons initiative.

The Changing Seasons. March 2018

As I approach the end of my wonderful 4 weeks off work I realise I have done a lot of things but I have not reconnected with blogging. I’m so glad that Su has kept the changing seasons going because I can continue to drop in here at least once a month. It’s been an eventful month with spending some time down at the beach, home and a few days in the mountains. Here’s some snaps

The Changing Seasons February 2018

It’s such a mad month for me. I am so looking forward to March. Friday is my last work day for 4 weeks. One small problem; I’m working Saturday! Duh how did that happen. Oh well, big relax on Saturday night and some extra time at the end of my leave. Here’s some pics of my February. Added for Su’s Changing Seasons

It’s bloody hot