Ishtar the beautiful


How much do you know about astronomy?

Today we have challenging questions about Venus based on the article “The IMG_3761Planets in 2019” by Murray Paulson. In the Observer’s Handbook 2019 the section on Venus includes a plot of elongation.

I created five questions that could be answered without reading this chapter.

You have up to five minutes to complete the challenge today.


Begin now. Do your best.

  1. If Venus is known as the “Morning Star” what planet is known as the “Evening Star”?


  1. When is recommended for observing the bright disk of a full-phase Venus?


  1. On February 18, 2019, Venus will be about one degree from what other planet in our sky?


  1. When Venus reaches superior conjunction what planet will be seen 6.2 arcminutes above the Sun?


  1. On September 13, 2019, Venus will be in conjunction with what other planet in our sky?


OK, pencils down. Scroll down for directions for checking your answers.


Please read directions below:

Step 1: Please contribute to one of these charities linked below. If you are a winner and contribute, please ask recipient to notify me of the amount so I might match the first $100.

  1. Michael J. fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Researchfullsizeoutput_13f0

Click on “Get Involved”

  1. Guilford County Animal Shelter

Look under “Donate to the Animal Shelter.”

  1. Guilford Senior Resources

Look under “You Can Help”

  1. Jo Cline Memorial EndowmentScreen shot 2015-08-01 at 6.58.52 AM


Step 2: Check your written answers to the answers below. If your answer is correct, give it a check mark.

Step 3: If your answer is wrong, put a small X.

Step 4: If you think my answer is questionable, write yourself a note, do the research and let me know if I’ve erred. Thanks in advance,


You are welcome to play with us during the next live broadcast of

“Let’s talk astronomy” this coming Monday beginning at 8 am eastern US time on Periscope.

Periscope is a live video streaming app for Android and iOS available in the App Store.

On Monday, February 18, 2019, our Astronomy Challenge was about Venus

The questions are given above, the correct answers and the winners are given below.

Congratulations to all winners and thank-you to all participants.

Play the Astronomy Challenge live on Periscope’s “ Let’s talk astronomy” 8 am (Eastern US time) on Mondays.


Correct Answers……..Periscope Winners:


  1. Venus…………………@Pircano: Dava Sobel, author of The Planets, notes that Venus switches positions about every 50 days. The orbit of Venus, closer to the Sun, gives us a changing view of this beautiful planet. 25% of the Periscope participants answered “Mars” and 25% said Saturn.


  1. daytime…………@JamesOn215: Inferior conjunction is not a good time to view Venus. While the planet is closest to Earth at that time, we see a new-phase of the planet; we’re facing the night-side of Aphrodite.


  1. Saturn……………….@daddo2: One degree is about the width of your thumb held out at arms length.


  1. Venus………………..@Qvani: The orbits of the planets are not the in same plane. The inclination of Venus’ orbital plane is a little more than 3 degrees to the ecliptic. This year, we will be able to see Venus by peeking over the top of the Sun at the time of superior conjunction, August 14.


Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 1.14.16 PM


  1. Mercury……………….@Pircano: On September 13, Venus and Mercury will be as close as 17 arcminutes and about 8 degrees trailing the setting Sun.




Live Periscope viewers indicated that the topic for the Astronomy Challenge on Monday, February 25 will be meteorites. so read pages 257 thru 263 to prepare.

If you find a mistake, please let me know.


Thanks goes out to all participants,


Congratulations to everyone who got one right.


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