© 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 2107–2108 evening apparition. It will be shining brightly at mag -4.4.

From Ashburn , this apparition will be exceptionally well placed and prominent, reaching a peak altitude of 43° above the horizon at sunset on 8 Mar 2108.

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2107–2108 evening apparition of Venus

21 Jul 2107 – Venus at superior solar conjunction
28 Feb 2108 – Venus at greatest elongation east
02 Mar 2108 – Venus at dichotomy
08 Mar 2108 – Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
04 Apr 2108 – Venus at greatest brightness
09 May 2108 – Venus at inferior solar conjunction

A graph of the phase of Venus is available here.

Apparitions of Venus

08 May 2105 – Morning apparition
22 Jul 2106 – Evening apparition
11 Dec 2106 – Morning apparition
28 Feb 2108 – Evening apparition
19 Jul 2108 – Morning apparition
03 Oct 2109 – Evening apparition
22 Feb 2110 – 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 01h36m10s 12°32'N Pisces 24.5"
Sun 22h47m -07°39' Aquarius 32'17"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 28 January 2022
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

26-day old moon
Waning Crescent


26 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:26 11:31 16:36
Venus 05:14 10:23 15:31
Moon 03:57 08:44 13:27
Mars 05:11 09:50 14:29
Jupiter 08:41 14:10 19:40
Saturn 07:43 12:48 17:53
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

28 Feb 2108  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
08 Mar 2108  –  Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
19 Jul 2108  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
23 Aug 2108  –  Venus at highest altitude in morning sky

Image credit

© NASA/Ricardo Nunes






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