Clearish skies (but still bright by bedtime) meant that I turned the scope on Venus for the first time in over a year.

 

Seeing was awful. At high power (240x), I could make out the gibbous shape, and yellow-white colour, but the whole thing was wobbly, and the edges weren’t crisp. There were huge diffraction rings and spikes – as expected given that its the brightest object in the sky apart from the sun and the moon. This took me by surprise because last time I put the scope on it, Venus was much nearer the Earth, hence larger, and much less bright because it was in a crescent phase. I got a crisper image.

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