© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

Venus at dichotomy

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Inner Planets feed

Objects: Venus
Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
The sky at

Venus will reach half phase in its 2011–2012 evening apparition. It will be shining brightly at mag -4.4.

From Seattle , this apparition will be exceptionally well placed and prominent, reaching a peak altitude of 41° above the horizon at sunset on 23 Mar 2012.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

2011–2012 evening apparition of Venus

16 Aug 2011 – Venus at superior solar conjunction
23 Mar 2012 – Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
26 Mar 2012 – Venus at greatest elongation east
29 Mar 2012 – Venus at dichotomy
30 Apr 2012 – Venus at greatest brightness
05 Jun 2012 – Venus at inferior solar conjunction

A graph of the phase of Venus is available here.

Apparitions of Venus

05 Jun 2009 – Morning apparition
19 Aug 2010 – Evening apparition
08 Jan 2011 – Morning apparition
26 Mar 2012 – Evening apparition
15 Aug 2012 – Morning apparition
31 Oct 2013 – Evening apparition
23 Mar 2014 – Morning apparition

Observing Venus

Venus's orbit lies closer to the Sun than the Earth's, meaning that it always appears close to the Sun and is lost in the Sun's glare much of the time.

It is observable for a few months each time it reaches greatest separation from the Sun – moments referred to as greatest elongation. These apparitions repeat roughly once every 1.6 years.

On these occasions, Venus is so bright and conspicuous that it becomes the third brightest object in the sky after the Sun and Moon. It is often called the morning star or the evening star.

Venus's phase

Venus's phase varies depending on its position relative to the Earth. When it passes between the Earth and Sun, for example, the side that is turned towards the Earth is entirely unilluminated, like a new moon.

Conversely, when it lies opposite to the Earth in its orbit, passing almost behind the Sun, it appears fully illuminated, like a full moon. However, at this time it is also at its most distant from the Earth, so it is actually fainter than at other times.

Venus shows an intermediate half phase – called dichotomy – at roughly the same moment that it appears furthest from the Sun, at greatest elongation. The exact times of the two events may differ by a few days, only because Venus's orbit is not quite perfectly aligned with the ecliptic.

Venus's position

The coordinates of Venus when it reaches dichotomy will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
Venus 03h26m10s 22°08'N Aries 24.1"
Sun 00h32m +03°30' Pisces 32'02"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 21 January 2022
Sunrise
07:46
Sunset
16:53
Twilight ends
18:41
Twilight begins
05:57

19-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

85%

19 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:41 12:31 17:21
Venus 06:05 10:54 15:43
Moon 19:47 03:02 10:03
Mars 05:46 09:55 14:03
Jupiter 09:15 14:31 19:47
Saturn 08:27 13:11 17:54
All times shown in PST.

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

26 Mar 2012  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
05 Jun 2012  –  Transit of Venus
15 Aug 2012  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
14 Sep 2012  –  Venus at highest altitude in morning sky

Image credit

© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

Share

Follow

Seattle

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

47.61°N
122.33°W
PST

Color scheme