© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

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 10h09m00s +12°41' Leo 10.0"
Sun 10h56m +06°45' Leo 31'43"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

From Cambridge, Venus will be difficult to observe as it will appear no higher than 8° above the horizon. It will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:04 (EDT) – 1 hour and 10 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 8° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:55.

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The sky on 05 September 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

11-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


11 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:08 14:02 19:56
Venus 05:04 11:54 18:45
Moon 16:46 21:51 01:50
Mars 12:27 17:11 21:56
Jupiter 03:27 10:39 17:52
Saturn 11:44 16:50 21:55
All times shown in EDT.


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.


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 Mar 2014  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
09 May 2015  –  Venus reaches highest point in evening sky
06 Jun 2015  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
21 Oct 2015  –  Venus reaches highest point in morning sky

Image credit

© NASA/Ricardo Nunes




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