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  1. #1
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    Cool New but loving the night sky



    So the past couple nights I've been gazing at Venus? Via my 20x60 spotting scope. Everything I've read so far says it's Venus (bright) and higjer in the sky is Mars (faint). The strange thing is it looked like Venus had two moons. The view from the scope showed two crescents crystal clear near Venus. I'm beginning to think this is an optical illusion? The cresants were following Venus across the sky and the shape suggested they were being illuminated by the sun below! I thought for a moment that this was Mars with its two moons but reading tells me otherwise and I quickly found Mars which appears much smaller right now. Any help here would be appreciated. Last year I gazed at Jupiter and had some really good views of four moons. These looked like stars almost twinkling but following Jupiter. Much different then the crescents I was seeming when viewing Venus. Perhaps it's the focus that is causing those around Venus?

    Thanks this is my first post, looking forward to learning about equipment I can use to view and photograph!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New but loving the night sky

    Welcome to the forum. Can't help you with your 2 crescent objects. My guess would be reflections of Venus in your optics.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: New but loving the night sky

    Welcome to the forum Alaska! Sounds like you found Venus but the other two crescents must be some reflections of Venus that you are getting within your spotting scope.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: New but loving the night sky

    Hi Alaska, and welcome here to the Forum!

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: New but loving the night sky

    Hello and welcome to the forums Alaska
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: New but loving the night sky

    Hello and welcome to the forums, Alaska!

    As others have said, Venus is very bright and if your optics aren't coated properly, they could cause the reflections you are seeing. Covering the objective lens with a piece of colored transparent plastic (like a report cover or colored cling wrap) may reduce the glare enough to stop the reflections (although Venus will then have the same color as the transparent plastic). Worth a shot, at least.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: New but loving the night sky

    Probably reflections. Venus is so bright that sometimes it produces a variety of optical effects, particularly if the instrument one is using isn't necessarily coated for astronomical observations.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: New but loving the night sky

    These things are strange. I moved zoomed everything to try and change the position of the crescents but they always tracked in the same spots and followed Venus across the sky. When I focused they were crystal clear. I guess this is one thing that is exciting about looking. Venus has a nice light show for sure! Thanks everyone.

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    Default Re: New but loving the night sky

    Hi all, so I believe I've stumbled upon the reason for the light show when I'm looking at Venus. I was messing around with the focus and eventually was able to see a smaller crescent Venus. Very bright but only the bottoms crescent was illuminated. This makes sense so far because up here in Alaska it appears the sun is projecting upwards toward the bottom of Venus. Earlier I thought I was in focus when I got a full circle of light from Venus but now I think I'm in focus and earlier I was out of focus making Venus look like a full circle light blob! The little crescents were likely the reflection of Venus on parts inside the scope? Anyhow, any focus advice? Is this what others are seeing? Thanks

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    Default Re: New but loving the night sky

    Always check your focus on a star of medium brightness. Not so dim that it's harder to make out, but not so bright as to cause any reflections or distortions. When your focus is pinpoint (as tight as possible) on that star, it is in as good a focus possible on any object in the sky.

    The little crescents were reflections of Venus. If you can get inside of your spotting scope and flock it (I don't know if this is feasible for your scope) it will most likely remove any stray reflections.

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