Venus transit of the Celestial Meridian today


The great navigatorsEmoji Kent and Mark have ascertained the location of the local celestial meridian today at 1528 (3:28 Kent time) under clear skies.

Venus was riding very high (by definition it is at it's highest across the meridian). By stepping back and mentally drawing a line down the center of the scope and projecting it onto the sky and roof beyond we know exactly where the meridian circle lay at that time. I checked against a pocket transit and the transit showed it was 180 degrees S almost exactly. Go 180 north and the line passes over where Polaris is. Polaris is very close to geographic north right now (until the year 2100). Being close to the equinox (8 days late), the RA of Venus is set at the location we saw today. A few days off does not make a difference to us! Officially it is fixed on the equinox.

Venus is at quarter phase gibbous and starting to show very slight signs of becoming more and more crescent as the summer wears on. Venus will also swell in size and become a very thin crescent in August.