Catching Venus at inferior conjunction (closest to Earth, mostly backlit by the sun) was sort of a personal project this year as I have seldom photographed or observed Venus when it was so close to us except during the transits in 2004 and 2012. Another shot from my archives is of Venus just after occultation by the Moon in 2009, but that was nearly a month after inferior conjunction, so the crescent of Venus was much wider at that time. The next inferior conjunction will occur in October, 2018.
At the time of this photo, Venus was at magnitude -4.0, 1% illuminated, a bit more than 8° from the sun, and about a half day away from inferior conjunction. The diameter of Venus was 59 arcseconds. Although I couldn't take a shot exactly at conjunction, the appearance at this time is essentially the same as would be seen at conjunction.
- Date/Time: 24 Mar. 2017 - 15:34,16:00 PDT
- Location: Vanishing Point Observatory
- Camera: Nikon D600 @ ISO 400
- Exposure: 1/500 sec. (stack of 2 frames)
- Lens: AP 155 + 2x teleconverter + 2x barlow (~4000mm FL)
- Mount: Losmandy Titan
- Image Processing: Lightroom and Photoshop