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Venus/Pleiades conjunction , measurable parallax effect

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20 years 1 week ago #2462 by albertw
Crosspost from Pete Lawrence on uk.sci.astronomy. Some of you may be interested in the project.

Cheers,
~Al

Beat the transit!

Just a thought but with the Venus/Pleiades conjunction that peaks on
the 3rd April, it should be possible to display a small, but measurable
parallax effect , using UK or European observers. Unlike the
lunar parallax demonstration project, the zone of visibility for
simutaneous imaging is much narrower (i.e. it's not possible to image
Venus + stars from the UK and the US at the same time).

A very rough and ready calculation (I'd be pleased if someone could
double check this for me) gives a parallax shift of 1 arcmin per
500km.

Anyone want to give this a go? I'm happy to act as a clearing house
for the images.

All that would be needed would be an image that shows Venus and at
least two (preferably more) stars in the field. Exposure should aim
to show Venus as a planetary disk + the stars. This may not be easy
to do but there's time to practice. A bright over exposed Venus + two
or more stars is better than nothing. Don't try for loads of stars
and a grossly overexposed Venus - this will generate the most
uncertainty in the final results.

What time to take the images? Let's say 20:00UT and every 10 minutes
thereafter until 20:30UT. Exposure dates considered will be the 1st,
2nd, 3rd and 4th April 2004.

The key time will 20h30mUT, the others are just backups.

As big an image scale as possible would help - i.e. it's not necessary
to try and get all of the Pleiades into the frame - just the area
around Venus will do. We're not after a beauty shot here - just a
measurement.

Nothing too serious at this stage but it could be another nice project
if there are enough contributors.

If you intend to have a go - please let me know.

Best results will be if we can get images from the maximum length of
the country.
-- Pete Lawrence www.pbl33.co.uk Astronomy & digital astroimaging

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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