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Venus at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Inner Planets feed

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The sky at

Venus's 225-day orbit around the Sun will carry it to its closest point to the Sun – its perihelion – at a distance of 0.72 AU from the Sun.

In practice, however, Venus's orbit is very close to circular; its distance from the Sun varies by only about 1.5% between perihelion and aphelion. This makes Venus's orbit more perfectly circular than that of any of the Solar System's other planets. As a result, its surface receives almost exactly the same amount of energy from the Sun at perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) and aphelion (furthest recess from the Sun).

The position of Venus at the moment it passes perihelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
Venus 19h00m20s -15°49' Sagittarius 57.3"
Sun 20h24m -19°18' Capricornus 32'29"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

From Ashburn, Venus will be difficult to observe as it will appear no higher than 12° above the horizon. It will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:49 (EST) – 1 hour and 37 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 12° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 07:07.

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The sky on 23 January 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

22-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


22 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:19 13:27 18:36
Venus 05:50 11:00 16:10
Moon 23:55 05:26 10:57
Mars 23:32 05:19 11:03
Jupiter 15:29 22:53 06:21
Saturn 02:11 07:20 12:29
All times shown in EST.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 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

23 Jan 2014  –  Venus at perihelion
11 Feb 2014  –  Venus at greatest brightness
19 Feb 2014  –  Venus reaches highest point in morning sky
23 Mar 2014  –  Venus at greatest elongation west

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