© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

Venus at superior solar conjunction

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Inner Planets feed

Objects: Venus
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The sky at

Venus will pass very close to the Sun in the sky as its orbit carries it around the far side of the solar system from the Earth.

This occurs once in every synodic cycle of the planet (584 days), and marks the end of Venus's apparition in the morning sky and its transition to become an evening object over the next few weeks.

At closest approach, Venus will appear at a separation of only 1°16' from the Sun, making it totally unobservable for several weeks while it is lost in the Sun's glare.

Venus will also pass apogee – the time when it is most distant from the Earth – at around the same time, since it will lie exactly opposite to the Earth in the Solar System. It will move to a distance of 1.72 AU from the Earth, making it appear small and very distant. If it could be observed, it would measure 9.7 arcsec in diameter, whilst appearing completely illuminated.

The exact position of Venus at the moment it passes solar conjunction will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
Venus 00h49m30s 3°55'N Pisces 9.7"
Sun 00h47m +05°06' Pisces 31'59"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 20 January 2022
Sunrise
07:47
Sunset
16:51
Twilight ends
18:40
Twilight begins
05:58

18-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

86%

18 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:49 12:40 17:30
Venus 06:10 10:59 15:48
Moon 18:36 02:16 09:42
Mars 05:47 09:55 14:04
Jupiter 09:19 14:34 19:49
Saturn 08:31 13:14 17:57
All times shown in PST.

Warning

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

12 Sep 1996  –  Venus at highest altitude in morning sky
05 Nov 1997  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
21 Dec 1997  –  Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
27 Mar 1998  –  Venus at greatest elongation west

Image credit

© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

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