Thursday, November 21, 2013
Venus shining above Ranchi city, India.
People confused it with flying object or a satellite.
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi
Few of my friends call me up to know about the bright object in the sky above Ranchi city. They confused it with some flying object or a satellite. It is Venus, I told them. It’s the planet which is easily visible at nightfall around the world in early November. Venus continues to draw all eyes to the western sky after sunset. Observers have been watching the bright planet for many weeks, although it seems that a fairly large percentage is not quite sure exactly what they have been looking at. Venus has increased noticeably in recent days. Venus beams mightily in the west at dusk, as seen from across the Earth. You can’t miss it. It sets roughly two-and-one-half-hours hours after sunset at mid-northern latitudes in early November and close to three hours after the sun by the month’s end. Venus! It’s the beautiful “evening star.”
The best time to observe Venus is actually in the early morning or early evening before the sky gets too dark. This is because Venus is so bright that it can actually be more difficult to see its features with the large contrast between it at the night sky, and it is best to catch it with some twilight behind it.
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. It has no natural satellite. It is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky. Venus is a terrestrial planet and is sometimes called Earth's "sister planet" because of their similar size, gravity, and bulk composition (Venus is both the closest planet to Earth and the planet closest in size to Earth). However, it has also been shown to be very different from Earth in other respects. It has the densest atmosphere of the four terrestrial planets, consisting of more than 96% carbon dioxide. Venus may have possessed oceans in the past, but these would have vaporized as the temperature rose due to a runaway greenhouse effect.