We don’t usually run photos from years ago as our Today’s Image. But with Venus blazing away in the west after sunset, we figured … yes! On June 18, 2007, the crescent moon eclipsed Venus. The 2007 occultation of Venus by the moon was visible in broad daylight from Europe and later at sunset from the Middle East and India. Alfons Gabel – a team member at Trebur Observatory – caught the occultation from Germany. He wrote:
Reading your article about stars and planets in the daytime, I remembered a daytime occultation of Venus I recorded in 2007. Using the waning moon as an indicator in the broad afternoon sky, even Venus was easily visible to the unaided eye – surprisingly bright.
Although not on the central line at my location in Klein-Winternheim near the 2000-year-old city of Mainz, Venus disappeared for 1 hour and 22 minutes behind the moon.
Such a long period was only possible, because Venus followed the moon’s sidereal motion with one fifth of its speed.
The creeping disappearance and even the reappearance at the bright edge of the moon were unforgettable impressions.
Best greetings from the Rhine river!
Best greetings to you as well, Alfons, and thank you for the images on this page!
By the way, the moon will occult Venus twice in 2015: October 8 and December 7.
Bottom line: Beautiful time-sequenced image from 2007, when the daytime moon covered the brightest planet, Venus. Photo by Alfons Gabel in Germany.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.