© 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 2024–2025 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 30 Jan 2025.

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2024–2025 evening apparition of Venus

04 Jun 2024 – Venus at superior solar conjunction
10 Jan 2025 – Venus at greatest elongation east
11 Jan 2025 – Venus at dichotomy
30 Jan 2025 – Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
16 Feb 2025 – 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
01 Nov 202417:5019:4014°south-west-4.077%
11 Nov 202416:3818:4916°south-west-4.174%
21 Nov 202416:3219:0418°south-west-4.171%
01 Dec 202416:2519:2121°south-west-4.268%
11 Dec 202416:2519:4224°south-4.264%
21 Dec 202416:2920:0328°south-4.360%
31 Dec 202416:3420:2031°south-west-4.456%
10 Jan 202516:4620:3934°south-west-4.451%
20 Jan 202516:5620:4937°south-west-4.545%
30 Jan 202517:0720:5939°south-west-4.639%
09 Feb 202517:1920:5938°south-west-4.632%
19 Feb 202517:3420:4935°south-west-4.624%
01 Mar 202517:4520:2129°west-4.614%
11 Mar 202518:5520:3818°west-4.46%

Altitude of Venus at sunset

A graph of the phase of Venus is available here.

Apparitions of Venus

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
14 Aug 2026 – Evening apparition
03 Jan 2027 – 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 22h42m40s 8°40'S Aquarius 25.0"
Sun 19h34m -21°40' Sagittarius 32'31"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 11 January 2025
Sunrise
07:18
Sunset
16:46
Twilight ends
18:22
Twilight begins
05:38

12-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

97%

12 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:14 10:48 15:21
Venus 09:37 15:08 20:40
Moon 14:11 22:24 06:36
Mars 16:56 00:34 08:13
Jupiter 13:45 21:09 04:34
Saturn 10:02 15:38 21:14
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

10 Jan 2025  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
30 Jan 2025  –  Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
31 May 2025  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
07 Aug 2025  –  Venus at highest altitude in morning sky

Image credit

© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

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