© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

Venus at greatest brightness

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Inner Planets feed

Objects: Venus
Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
The sky at

Venus will reach its greatest brightness in its 2075–2076 evening apparition. It will be shining brightly at mag -4.5.

From Seattle , this apparition will be exceptionally well placed and prominent, reaching a peak altitude of 41° above the horizon at sunset on 14 Mar 2076.

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

2075–2076 evening apparition of Venus

07 Mar 2076 – Venus at greatest elongation east
10 Mar 2076 – Venus at dichotomy
14 Mar 2076 – Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
12 Apr 2076 – Venus at greatest brightness
18 May 2076 – Venus at inferior solar conjunction

A graph of the brightness of Venus is available here.

Apparitions of Venus

17 May 2073 – Morning apparition
31 Jul 2074 – Evening apparition
19 Dec 2074 – Morning apparition
07 Mar 2076 – Evening apparition
27 Jul 2076 – Morning apparition
11 Oct 2077 – Evening apparition
03 Mar 2078 – 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 brightness

Venus's brightness depends on two factors: its closeness to the Earth, and its phase. Its 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 reaches its brightest when it is still a crescent – with less than half of its disk illuminated. This is because it is much closer to the Earth during its crescent phases than at other times.

As a result, during evening apparitions, Venus reaches maximum brightness a few days after it is at greatest separation from the Sun, which always coincides with it showing half-phase (dichotomy).

Conversely, during morning apparitions, Venus reaches maximum brightness a few days before it is at greatest separation from the Sun.

Venus's position

The coordinates of Venus when it reaches its greatest brightness will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
Venus 03h54m10s 25°47'N Taurus 37.8"
Sun 01h23m +08°43' Pisces 31'54"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 20 January 2022
Sunrise
07:47
Sunset
16:51
Twilight ends
18:40
Twilight begins
05:58

18-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

85%

18 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:49 12:40 17:30
Venus 06:10 10:59 15:48
Moon 18:36 02:16 09:42
Mars 05:47 09:55 14:04
Jupiter 09:19 14:34 19:49
Saturn 08:31 13:14 17:57
All times shown in PST.

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

14 Mar 2076  –  Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
27 Jul 2076  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
27 Aug 2076  –  Venus at highest altitude in morning sky
21 Jun 2077  –  Venus at highest altitude in evening sky

Image credit

© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

Share

Follow

Seattle

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

47.61°N
122.33°W
PST

Color scheme