Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Have you seen Venus lately? It’s the brightest object in the sky currently and is reaching its maximum height above the horizon after sunset (Greatest Eastern Elongation). Venus is bright for two reasons; it’s close, and cloud covered. The entire planet is covered by highly reflective clouds causing it to reflect about 75% of the light that hits it. Despite this, the rest of the light that penetrates the clouds serves to heat up this planet like an extreme greenhouse. Temperatures on Venus can reach 800°F-900°F and it doesn’t really go down at night. It’s not just the temperatures that make Venus so extreme, its day is actually longer than its year. Venus rotates backwards, compared to the other planets, and takes longer to spin around once than it does to orbit the sun. Venus will be one of many objects we’ll be targeting this Saturday, January 21, 7:00-9:00PM weather permitting. We had to cancel our December night due to extreme cold. While it will be a little chilly, it won’t be dangerously cold this Saturday. Please dress warmly as the Observatory dome and deck are not heated. I hope to see you out there.
Front Range Community College-Larimer Campus