© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

Venus at perihelion

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 at01:44 EDT(106 days ago)
05:44 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 11h10m10s +06°45' Leo 11.1"
Sun 12h36m -03°56' Virgo 31'58"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

From Ashburn (click to change), Venus will be difficult to observe as it will appear no higher than 18° above the horizon. It will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:05 (EST) – 2 hours and 1 minute before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 18° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 06:48.

The sky on 03 October 2017
Sunrise 07:06
Sunset 18:48
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

13-day old moon
Age of Moon
13 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:46 12:45 18:45
Venus 05:07 11:31 17:56
Moon 18:02 23:45 04:24
Mars 05:13 11:36 17:58
Jupiter 08:35 14:06 19:36
Saturn 12:58 17:44 22:31


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

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
24 Mar 2020, 03:31 EDT  –  Venus at greatest elongation east

Image credit

© NASA/Ricardo Nunes




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