© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

Venus at dichotomy

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Inner Planets feed

Objects: Venus
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Venus will reach half phase in its 2023 evening apparition. It will be shining brightly at mag -4.3.

From Fairfield , this apparition will be well placed and prominent, reaching a peak altitude of 38° above the horizon at sunset on 30 Apr 2023.

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

2023 evening apparition of Venus

22 Oct 2022 – Venus at superior solar conjunction
30 Apr 2023 – Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
03 Jun 2023 – Venus at dichotomy
04 Jun 2023 – Venus at greatest elongation east
09 Jul 2023 – 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
sets at
at sunset
at sunset
Mag Phase
30 Jan 202317:0718:5919°south-west-3.992%
09 Feb 202317:2019:2522°south-west-3.990%
19 Feb 202317:3419:5024°south-west-4.088%
01 Mar 202317:4620:1326°west-4.086%
11 Mar 202317:5620:3629°west-4.083%
21 Mar 202319:0522:0032°west-4.081%
31 Mar 202319:1822:2133°west-4.078%
10 Apr 202319:2722:4835°west-4.174%
20 Apr 202319:3723:0936°west-4.171%
30 Apr 202319:4823:2438°west-4.167%
10 May 202320:0123:3737°west-4.263%
20 May 202320:0823:4137°west-4.258%
30 May 202320:1723:3936°west-4.353%
09 Jun 202320:2423:3033°west-4.347%
19 Jun 202320:3123:1629°west-4.441%
29 Jun 202320:3022:5325°west-4.434%
09 Jul 202320:2822:2120°west-4.525%
19 Jul 202320:2521:4113°west-4.417%

Altitude of Venus at sunset

A graph of the phase of Venus is available here.

Apparitions of Venus

13 Aug 2020 – Morning apparition
29 Oct 2021 – Evening apparition
20 Mar 2022 – Morning apparition
04 Jun 2023 – Evening apparition
23 Oct 2023 – Morning apparition
10 Jan 2025 – Evening apparition
31 May 2025 – 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 08h03m40s 23°00'N Cancer 23.4"
Sun 04h46m +22°20' Taurus 31'32"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 03 June 2023
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

15-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


15 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:19 11:14 18:09
Venus 08:38 16:09 23:41
Moon 20:17 00:51 05:22
Mars 09:34 16:50 00:06
Jupiter 03:31 10:16 17:01
Saturn 01:20 06:46 12:12
All times shown in EDT.


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

30 Apr 2023  –  Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
04 Jun 2023  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
18 Oct 2023  –  Venus at highest altitude in morning sky
23 Oct 2023  –  Venus at greatest elongation west

Image credit

© NASA/Ricardo Nunes






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