© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

Venus at perihelion

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 at11:56 EST(396 days ago)
16:56 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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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 00h30m10s +08°38' Pisces 41.2"
Sun 22h16m -10°45' Aquarius 32'20"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

From Ashburn (click to change), Venus will become visible at around 18:08 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 33° above your western horizon. It will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 17 minutes after the Sun at 21:07.

The sky on 20 February 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

23-day old moon
Waning Crescent


23 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:34 11:41 16:49
Venus 08:05 14:36 21:07
Moon 02:24 07:26 12:28
Mars 08:45 15:09 21:34
Jupiter 21:50 03:33 09:12
Saturn 03:03 07:49 12:36
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

12 Jan 2017, 10:52 EST  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
03 Jun 2017, 01:58 EDT  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
17 Aug 2018, 03:58 EDT  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
06 Jan 2019, 01:02 EST  –  Venus at greatest elongation west

Image credit

© NASA/Ricardo Nunes




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