© 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 2016–2017 evening apparition. It will be shining brightly at mag -4.4.

From Fairfield , this apparition will be well placed and prominent, reaching a peak altitude of 39° above the horizon at sunset on 2 Feb 2017.

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

2016–2017 evening apparition of Venus

06 Jun 2016 – Venus at superior solar conjunction
12 Jan 2017 – Venus at greatest elongation east
14 Jan 2017 – Venus at dichotomy
02 Feb 2017 – Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
18 Feb 2017 – Venus at greatest brightness

The table below lists the altitude of Venus at sunset over the course of the apparition. All times are given in Fairfield local time.

Date Sun
sets at
Venus
sets at
Altitude
at sunset
Direction
at sunset
Mag Phase
04 Nov 201617:4619:4215°south-west-4.077%
14 Nov 201616:3418:5317°south-west-4.174%
24 Nov 201616:3019:0919°south-west-4.171%
04 Dec 201616:2419:2722°south-west-4.268%
14 Dec 201616:2819:4725°south-west-4.264%
24 Dec 201616:2820:0929°south-west-4.360%
03 Jan 201716:3720:2532°south-west-4.456%
13 Jan 201716:4820:4236°south-west-4.451%
23 Jan 201717:0120:5238°south-west-4.545%
02 Feb 201717:1221:0039°south-west-4.639%
12 Feb 201717:2421:0039°south-west-4.631%
22 Feb 201717:3720:4935°west-4.623%
04 Mar 201717:4820:2328°west-4.614%
14 Mar 201719:0220:3717°west-4.35%

Altitude of Venus at sunset

A graph of the phase of Venus is available here.

Apparitions of Venus

23 Mar 2014 – Morning apparition
06 Jun 2015 – Evening apparition
26 Oct 2015 – Morning apparition
12 Jan 2017 – Evening apparition
03 Jun 2017 – Morning apparition
17 Aug 2018 – Evening apparition
06 Jan 2019 – 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 22h52m00s 7°34'S Aquarius 24.9"
Sun 19h44m -21°14' Sagittarius 32'31"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 14 January 2017
Sunrise
07:17
Sunset
16:49
Twilight ends
18:29
Twilight begins
05:37

16-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

91%

16 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:39 10:23 15:07
Venus 09:34 15:11 20:48
Moon 18:28 01:38 08:41
Mars 09:53 15:39 21:26
Jupiter 00:04 05:41 11:18
Saturn 05:05 09:46 14:27
All times shown in EST.

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 Jan 2017  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
02 Feb 2017  –  Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
03 Jun 2017  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
07 Aug 2017  –  Venus at highest altitude in morning sky

Image credit

© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

Share

Follow

Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

41.14°N
73.26°W
EDT

Color scheme