Roberto Ortu, a former student of the Physics Department at the University of Pisa and now an astro-photographer, has captured the beauty of the planet Venus through a series of photographs. These images, which follow Venus from the end of May to August, have been published on the NASA website “Astronomy Picture of the Day.” The photographs show the different phases of Venus, similar to the phases of the Moon. According to Ortu, capturing the crescent phases of Venus was particularly challenging due to the planet being immersed in twilight. Professor Sergio Giudici, a physics professor and director of the Museum of Physics Instruments, explains that as Venus becomes more crescent-shaped, its apparent diameter increases. This phenomenon, first observed by Galileo, provides evidence that planets orbit around the Sun and not the Earth, as previously believed. The photographs are consistent with the phases of Venus depicted by Galileo in his publication “Saggiatore” in 1623, which celebrates its 400th anniversary this year. Giudici believes that Ortu’s work can be utilized in the teaching of physics, particularly in challenging flat-Earth believers as they can explain the phases of Venus.
Ex studente pisano fotografa le fasi di Venere a Pisa: un’opera di Roberto Ortu