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theoldguy2 ago

You're probably seeing Venus, reddened by all the atmosphere it has to go through "just above the horizon", similar to how the sun looks reddish at sunrise and sunset. Though even a department store telescope (40x or so) you should see the phase as a crescent just past the "half moon" phase.

RoyLuhza ago

Yeah thanks for the reply, I arrived at the same conclusion as you regarding the redness, the extra brightness must have been due to the clear air associated with the "Antarctic Blob."

I have been into amateur astronomy for a long time and have witnessed some stunning sights .. at magnitude 5.8 planet Uranus is technically visible with the naked eye, so I always wondered if anyone Arab astronomers in particular had logged observations prior to Hershel's discovery of the planet in 1781.

Armed with finder charts acquired from Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazines, one journeyed to a couple of rural dark sky locations on Moonless nights to see if it could be seen .. in WW2 British Night Binoculars with which Neptune is visible as a dark blue disc it is a fairly easy sight at any time.

While the planet was at near opposition and under dark skies Uranus was visible with the naked eye as the merest speck, believe it or not the planet's natural aqua color was discernible .. despite it is just a speck I always felt someone seafarer or Arab who routinely viewed the stars should have been aware of it.

One night with the same binocs planet Saturn was like a tiny photograph of itself as presumably a mass of clear air moved overhead, NGC 5128 Centaurus A appeared in the binocs one time only which similarly looked exactly as it does in photos very low contrast however.

The most spectacular sight in my career as an amateur astronomer came while searching for planet Mercury on the eastern horizon one morning not long before sunrise in near daylight, after scanning across the Beehive Cluster which looked like a "bag of dots" M33 came into view as a truly prodigious bag of glittering dots which were individual stars in the Galaxy.

Astronomical photos from Simbad.

Good luck :)