© NASA/Ricardo Nunes

Venus at greatest brightness

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Inner Planets feed

Objects: Venus
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Venus will reach its greatest brightness in its 2083–2084 evening apparition. It will be shining brightly at mag -4.5.

From Ashburn , this apparition will be exceptionally well placed and prominent, reaching a peak altitude of 43° above the horizon at sunset on 15 Mar 2084.

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

2083–2084 evening apparition of Venus

05 Mar 2084 – Venus at greatest elongation east
08 Mar 2084 – Venus at dichotomy
15 Mar 2084 – Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
10 Apr 2084 – Venus at greatest brightness
15 May 2084 – Venus at inferior solar conjunction

A graph of the brightness of Venus is available here.

Apparitions of Venus

14 May 2081 – Morning apparition
29 Jul 2082 – Evening apparition
17 Dec 2082 – Morning apparition
05 Mar 2084 – Evening apparition
25 Jul 2084 – Morning apparition
09 Oct 2085 – Evening apparition
01 Mar 2086 – 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 03h44m10s 25°21'N Taurus 37.8"
Sun 01h14m +07°52' Pisces 31'55"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 18 January 2022
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

16-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


16 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:48 12:58 18:07
Venus 06:04 11:12 16:19
Moon 16:48 00:34 08:13
Mars 05:18 09:58 14:38
Jupiter 09:15 14:41 20:08
Saturn 08:18 13:22 18:26
All times shown in EST.


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

15 Mar 2084  –  Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
25 Jul 2084  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
18 Aug 2084  –  Venus at highest altitude in morning sky
15 Jul 2085  –  Venus at highest altitude in evening sky

Image credit

© NASA/Ricardo Nunes






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