Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Inner Planets feed
Venus will pass very close to the Sun in the sky as its orbit carries it between the Sun and Earth.
This occurs once in every synodic cycle of the planet (584 days), and marks the end of Venus's apparition in the evening sky and its transition to become a morning object over the next few weeks.
At closest approach, Venus will appear at a separation of only 6° from the Sun, making it totally unobservable for several weeks while it is lost in the Sun's glare.
Venus will also pass perigee – the time when it is closest to the Earth – at around the same time, since it will lie on exactly the same side of the Sun as the Earth in the Solar System. It will move to within a distance of 0.27 AU from the Earth, making it appear with its largest angular size. If it could be observed, it would measure 61.3 arcsec in diameter, whilst appearing completely unilluminated.
The exact position of Venus at the moment it passes solar conjunction will be:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.
|The sky on 26 October 2018|
17 days old
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.
|17 Aug 2018||– Venus at greatest elongation east|
|14 Dec 2018||– Venus reaches highest point in morning sky|
|06 Jan 2019||– Venus at greatest elongation west|
|24 Mar 2020||– Venus at greatest elongation east|
© NASA/Ricardo Nunes