Distance covered and Angular Velocity:
The Naval Observatory chart, above, shows Azimuth (AZ, degrees east from true north) and Zenith Distance (ZD, degrees from straight up); 90 - Zenith
Distance is Elevation, degrees (approximately) from the horizon. Note that at 02:00 (10:00 local) Venus was below the horizon (90 - 92 = - 2).
(Remember these are GMT times, so 20:00:00 = 00:00:00 GMT the next day)
2005 Jul 28 00:00:00.0 68 37 31.1 267 25 05.5
2005 Jul 28 02:00:00.0 92 23 20.5 285 12 43.5
I'm dropping minutes(") and seconds(') from the calculations because I'm lazy and because, with all the other variables, it won't affect the
calculations much. Anyone who wants can use more precise computations. There's a very good coordinate translator at
which can be used to convert degrees-minutes-seconds to decimal degrees to make the math easier.
So anyway, between 8:00 and 10:00 EDT the thing moved
68 - 92 = - 24 degrees vertically
267 - 285 = - 15 degrees horizontally.
We know side-angle-side (24-90-15) so we can plug those numbers into our triangle calculator, and out pops the missing side.
28 degrees in two hours = 14 degrees per hour. 14 degrees / 60 minutes = 0.2333... degrees per minute, fairly close to the 0.25 degree/minute I got
It's hard enough to visualize what 1 degree looks like in the sky, much less 0.23 degrees, so I related it to the Full Moon, which is 0.5 degrees
wide. Venus was moving 0.23/0.5 = (about) 0.5, or half the width of the full moon per minute.
You can use the triangle calculator to figure the cloud deck from you position, too. This time you've got 18 miles, 90 degrees, 3 miles: plug it in
and see what you get.
I have myself seen Venus through a light cloud cover; it's kinda freaky with binoculars.
You may have something on the still photos, the first one shows something
substatntial but it's impossible to tell what. Is that a shadow, for
instance, or just a JPEG artifact?
Also, remember that in addition to Norfolk International, you have Oceana NAS, Hampton Roads, Chesapeak Regional, Fentress NAS Aux, Norfolk Naval
Station, and possibly a few others, all within about 20 miles and all rerouting traffic around the storms. Then there's the 6 or so heliports, the
10+ hospitals and trauma centers, etc., etc.
This is as far as I can let myself go with this sighting, I'm afraid. I'm always happy to help when I can, but I have a lot of research myself to
complete. You have the tools available to investigate the sightings as detailed as you want; good luck with it.