© 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 2127 evening apparition. It will be shining brightly at mag -4.5.

From Ashburn , this apparition will be well placed and prominent, reaching a peak altitude of 41° above the horizon at sunset on 25 Apr 2127.

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2127 evening apparition of Venus

25 Apr 2127 – Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
05 May 2127 – Venus at greatest elongation east
06 May 2127 – Venus at dichotomy
09 Jun 2127 – Venus at greatest brightness
15 Jul 2127 – Venus at inferior solar conjunction

A graph of the brightness of Venus is available here.

Apparitions of Venus

14 Jul 2124 – Morning apparition
28 Sep 2125 – Evening apparition
17 Feb 2126 – Morning apparition
05 May 2127 – Evening apparition
24 Sep 2127 – Morning apparition
11 Dec 2128 – Evening apparition
01 May 2129 – 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 07h50m20s 23°08'N Gemini 37.5"
Sun 05h00m +22°43' Taurus 31'31"

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

05 May 2127  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
24 Sep 2127  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
01 Oct 2127  –  Venus at highest altitude in morning sky
11 Dec 2128  –  Venus at greatest elongation east

Image credit

© NASA/Ricardo Nunes






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