Venus in the Daytime

With the Moon only a half a degree from Venus this morning, it should be relatively easy to spot the brilliant planet high in the daytime sky.

Crescent Venus
Venus approaching inferior conjunction, 24Dec2013

Spotting planets in the daytime is not that difficult, both Jupiter and Venus are bright enough to seen in full daylight. Venus is currently near maximum brilliance at about -4.3 magnitude, easily bright enough to see in a clear sky. There are a few helpful hints to make this easier.

Today the Moon will make finding Venus quite easy. The planet is only half a degree above the Moon, just above the slim crescent.  Keep in mind that the Moon is half a degree across, the planet will be half a Moon diameter above the unlit side, easy to spot in the mid-morning sky.  Having the Moon nearby will not only aid in locating the Planet, it will also provide your eyes something to focus on.

The Moon and Venus

e Moon, Venus and Aldebaran
The Moon, Venus and Aldebaran join up for an evening conjunction

Tomorrow morning will feature a very close pairing of a 15% crescent Moon and a brilliant Venus just
½° apart. The pair will be situated between Jupiter above and Saturn rising below.

The Moon is close to ½° across, thus the planet will lie quite close to the tip of a beautiful, slim crescent. Shining at a brilliant -4.2 magnitude the planet is also a match for the bright Moon.

A beautiful lineup of Moon and planets should make it worth the effort to rise early and enjoy the pre-dawn spectacle.

The Moon and Venus

e Moon, Venus and Aldebaran
The Moon, Venus and Aldebaran join up for an evening conjunction

The year begins with a nice pairing of a 17% crescent Moon and a brilliant Venus just 2° apart before dawn tomorrow on New year’s Day. Jupiter and Mercury are also visible in the glow of sunrise below the pair.

The month of January will feature a clutch of bright planets in the dawn. Mercury will disappear into the sun’s glare to be replaced by Saturn emerging from superior conjunction mid-month, joining Venus and Jupiter.

The Moon and Venus

Tomorrow morning, July 20th, a pretty crescent Moon will be located close to a brilliant Venus. The Moon will be a slim 11% crescent a little over 4° from Venus shining at -4.0 magnitude. The pair will rise about three hours before sunrise a bit before 2am, look for the two above the brightening glow of dawn.

e Moon, Venus and Aldebaran
The Moon, Venus and Aldebaran join up for an evening conjunction

The Moon and Venus

Tomorrow morning, June 20th, a pretty crescent Moon will be located close to a brilliant Venus. The Moon will be a slim 18% crescent a little under 6° from Venus shining at -4.2 magnitude. The pair will rise about three hours before sunrise at about 2am, look for the two above the brightening glow of dawn.

e Moon, Venus and Aldebaran
The Moon, Venus and Aldebaran join up for an evening conjunction

The Moon and Venus

Tomorrow morning, May 22nd, a pretty crescent Moon will be located close to a brilliant Venus. The Moon will be a slim 15% crescent a little over 3° from Venus shining at -4.4 magnitude. The pair will rise about two hours before sunrise at about 3am, look for the two above the brightening glow of dawn.

e Moon, Venus and Aldebaran
The Moon, Venus and Aldebaran join up for an evening conjunction

The Moon and Venus

Tomorrow morning, April 23rd, a pretty crescent Moon will be located close to a brilliant Venus. The Moon will be a slim 12% crescent a little over 7° from Venus shining at -4.3 magnitude. The pair will rise about an hour before sunrise at about 4am, look for the two just above the brightening glow of dawn.

e Moon, Venus and Aldebaran
The Moon, Venus and Aldebaran join up for an evening conjunction

Venus Exits the Evening Sky

Over the next week Venus will be lost to the Sun’s glare. It is currently about 15° east of the Sun, but getting closer quite quickly now and becoming tough to spot in the sunset. The planet will pass through inferior conjunction on March 25th. The planet will appear in the dawn sky around mid April. When it does appear, it will spend the remainder of 2017 as the morning star.

Crescent Venus
Venus approaching inferior conjunction, 24Dec2013
Even when low in the sunset, Venus is worth picking up in a telescope. As the planet approaches inferior conjunction it shows an ever more crescent appearance to our earthbound vantage point. During the last days of visibility it will be a razor thin crescent, worth the effort to look.

Venus Events for 2017

  Date UT Separation Mag
Maximum Elongation Jan 12 47.1°E -4.4
Inferior Conjunction Mar 25    
Maximum Elongation Jun 3 45.9°W -4.3
 
Source: NASA Sky Calendar