© 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 2053 evening apparition. It will be shining brightly at mag -4.4.

From Ashburn , this apparition will not be one of the most prominent and tricky to observe, reaching a peak altitude of 18° above the horizon at sunset on 15 Jul 2053.

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2053 evening apparition of Venus

16 Mar 2053 – Venus at superior solar conjunction
05 Jul 2053 – Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
18 Oct 2053 – Venus at dichotomy
19 Oct 2053 – Venus at greatest elongation east
27 Nov 2053 – Venus at greatest brightness
29 Dec 2053 – Venus at inferior solar conjunction

A graph of the phase of Venus is available here.

Apparitions of Venus

27 Dec 2050 – Morning apparition
14 Mar 2052 – Evening apparition
03 Aug 2052 – Morning apparition
19 Oct 2053 – Evening apparition
11 Mar 2054 – Morning apparition
25 May 2055 – Evening apparition
14 Oct 2055 – 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 16h38m10s 25°45'S Scorpius 24.5"
Sun 13h32m -09°36' Virgo 32'06"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 23 January 2022
Sunrise
07:21
Sunset
17:19
Twilight ends
18:53
Twilight begins
05:48

21-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

59%

21 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:06 12:14 17:23
Venus 05:36 10:45 15:54
Moon 22:05 04:27 10:38
Mars 05:14 09:54 14:33
Jupiter 08:58 14:26 19:54
Saturn 08:00 13:05 18:09
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

05 Jul 2053  –  Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
19 Oct 2053  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
04 Feb 2054  –  Venus at highest altitude in morning sky
11 Mar 2054  –  Venus at greatest elongation west

Image credit

© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

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