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Direction, Altitude & Visibility Duration of Venus after Sunset, August 2016 - March 2017:

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2016-17 Evening Apparition Data

Venus Conjunctions with other Planets, 2016-17

Moon near Venus Dates, Aug 2016 to Feb 2017

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Star chart showing the paths of Venus, Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Neptune through the zodiac constellations for the latter part of Venus' evening apparition in 2016-17 (Copyright Martin J Powell 2016)

 

The Paths of Venus, Mercury, Mars and Saturn through the zodiac constellations during the latter part of Venus' evening apparition in 2016-17 (the earlier part of the planets' apparition is shown in the chart below). Positions for Venus, Mercury and Mars are plotted for 0 hrs Universal Time (UT) at 5-day intervals, while Saturn's position is plotted on the 1st day of each month. The path of Neptune is also shown for reference.

Both evening and morning apparitions of Mercury are included. Wherever a planet is too close to the Sun to view, the path is shown by a dashed line (- -). Hence Mercury's evening apparition ends around mid-December 2016 when it becomes lost from view in the dusk twilight. The planet is then unobservable for about two weeks before it re-emerges in the morning sky in early January 2017. Because Mercury is only ever seen under twilit conditions, many of the fainter stars shown in the planet's vicinity may not be visible when the planet itself is observed.

For Venus, apparition data for the dates shown in bright white (at 10-day intervals) are included in the table below. The positions at which Venus and Mercury attain greatest elongation from the Sun are indicated by the letters 'GE', with the solar elongation angle in brackets. Eastern elongations apply for evening apparitions and Western elongations for morning apparitions (the elongation of Venus is Easterly throughout the chart coverage). The position at which Venus attains greatest brilliancy for this apparition (apparent magnitude = -4.5) is shown by the letters 'GB'. Note that both evening and morning apparitions of Mercury shown on the chart favour Southern hemisphere observers (who should refer to the Southern hemisphere chart for a more appropriate orientation).

The faintest stars shown have an apparent magnitude of about +4.8. Printer-friendly versions of this chart are available for Northern and Southern hemisphere views. Astronomical co-ordinates of Right Ascension (longitude, measured Eastwards in hrs:mins) and Declination (latitude, measured in degrees North or South of the celestial equator) are marked around the border of the chart.

Click here to see a 'clean' star map of the area (i.e. without planet paths); a printable version can be found here.

A planetary conjunction of Venus with Neptune takes place on January 13th 2017, indicated on the chart by the symbol Conjunction symbol. For more details see the planetary conjunctions section below.

The Venus Evening Apparition of 2016 to 2017 by Martin J Powell

Following superior conjunction on June 6th 2016 (when it passes directly behind the Sun in North-eastern Taurus) Venus' 2016-17 apparition as an 'Evening Star' commences as the planet emerges into the dusk sky in late June 2016. Observers at Equatorial latitudes are the first to see it, low down in the Western sky soon after sunset. Northern latitudes begin to detect the planet from around early July (at 30 North), mid-July (40 North) and late July (50 North). At high Northern latitudes, low altitude and twilight delays the first appearance of the planet until mid-November (at 60 North). Southern latitudes first detect the planet between late June (at 15 South) and early July (35- 45 South). Venus is moving in an South-easterly direction (direct or prograde) through the constellation of Gemini, the Twins, at this time, entering Cancer, the Crab, on July 10th 2016. The planet reaches a solar elongation (angle measured from the Sun) of 10 East on July 12th, shining at an apparent magnitude of -3.8 at this time.

 Venus seen through a telescope at 62% illumination (Copyright Martin J Powell 2008)

A Telescopic view of Venus at 62% illumination, filmed by a videocamera pointed into the eyepiece of a telescope in 2004. Venus attains a 62% phase in mid-December 2016. More telescope images of the planet's 2004 apparition can be seen here.

2 0 1 6  June- July

On July 16th the planet Mercury, at magnitude -1.0, passes 0.5 North of Venus in a planetary conjunction which is too close to the Sun to observe. A planetary conjunction occurs when two planets attain the same celestial longitude, such that they can often appear very close together in the night sky. Although this particular conjunction is not observable, there will be four observable planetary conjunctions involving Venus which will take place during its 2016-17 evening apparition.

From mid to late July the planet is pulling away from the Sun at a rate of 0.27 per day. At this early stage of the apparition, when seen through a telescope, the planet shows a broad gibbous shape (i.e. a little less than a full disk), its phase (the percentage of the illuminated portion of the disk) being around 96%. The planet's apparent diameter measures only a little over 10" across (i.e. 10 arcseconds, where 1" = 1/60th of an arcminute or 1/3600 of a degree). The planet's low altitude (angle above the horizon), its great distance from the Earth and its small apparent size makes Venus a difficult object to observe telescopically at this time, with no detail being visible in its clouds.

Venus enters Leo, the Lion, on July 26th, attaining a solar elongation of 15 East of the Sun on July 31st. The planet passes South of the asterism (star pattern) known as the Sickle of Leo, at the Western end of the constellation, from July 31st through to August 7th.

2 0 1 6  August

Over a period of a month commencing August 4th, Venus, Mercury and Jupiter form an interesting planetary grouping on the Leo-Virgo border, with the waxing crescent Moon joining the group from August 4th-6th. Jupiter, at magnitude -1.7, is now in the closing stage of its 2015-16 apparition, having spent most of the period in South-eastern Leo. Mercury is undergoing the second evening apparition of the year, there being six full apparitions during 2016 (three in the morning and three in the evening).

On August 5th Venus passes 1.1 to the North of Leo's brightest star Regulus (Greek lower-case letter 'alpha' Leo or Alpha Leonis, mag. +1.4) then on August 21st passes just 24' (24 arcminutes, where 1' = 1/60th of a degree) South of the star Greek lower-case letter 'sigma' Leo (Sigma Leonis, mag. +4.0), at the foot of the Lion's hind leg.

Around mid-August Venus is setting some 30 minutes after sunset at high-Northern latitudes, 45 minutes after sunset at mid-Northern latitudes, 1 hour after sunset at Equatorial and Tropical latitudes and 1 hours after sunset at mid-Southern latitudes.

At about 03 hours UT on August 22nd, the three planets form a right-angled triangle, Jupiter and Venus being 5.9 apart and Jupiter and Mercury 4.0 apart. Venus and Mercury form the longest side of the triangle, being 7.1 apart. The triangle is visible in dusk twilight from the South-eastern Pacific Ocean. The following day at around 18 hours UT, the three form an isoscelene triangle, 6.5 wide at the base and 2.7 high. The apex of the triangle, occupied by Jupiter, points towards Virgo, the Virgin, which Venus enters on the following day (24th). This triangle is visible from locations within an arc extending from the central Mediterranean Sea through central and South-western Africa.

Date

Constellation

Apparent

Magnitude

Apparent

Diameter

(arcsecs)

View from

Earth

(0h UT)

(North up)

Distance (AU)*

Solar

Elongation

Illuminated

Phase

from Earth

from Sun

2016

Aug 5

Astrological symbol for Leo

Leo

-3.8

10".2

View of Venus from Earth on August 5th 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

1.6348

0.7196

16E

96%

Aug 15

Astrological symbol for Leo

Leo

-3.8

10".4

View of Venus from Earth on August 15th 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

1.5990

0.7206

19E

94%

Aug 25

Astrological symbol for Virgo

Vir

-3.8

10".7

View of Venus from Earth on August 25th 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

1.5587

0.7218

22E

93%

Sep 4

Astrological symbol for Virgo

Vir

-3.8

11".0

View of Venus from Earth on September 4th 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

1.5142

0.7231

24E

91%

Sep 14

Astrological symbol for Virgo

Vir

-3.8

11".4

View of Venus from Earth on September 14th 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

1.4657

0.7245

27E

89%

Sep 24

Astrological symbol for Virgo

Vir

-3.8

11".8

View of Venus from Earth on September 24th 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

1.4139

0.7258

29E

87%

Oct 4

Astrological symbol for Libra

Lib

-3.8

12".3

View of Venus from Earth on October 4th 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

1.3590

0.7268

31E

85%

Oct 14

Astrological symbol for Libra

Lib

-3.8

12".8

View of Venus from Earth on October 14th 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

1.3012

0.7276

34E

82%

Oct 24

Astrological symbol for Scorpius

Sco

-3.9

13".5

View of Venus from Earth on October 24th 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

1.2408

0.7281

36E

80%

Nov 3

 

Oph

-3.9

14".2

View of Venus from Earth on November 3rd 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

1.1782

0.7281

38E

77%

Nov 13

Astrological symbol for Sagittarius

Sgr

-3.9

15".0

View of Venus from Earth on November 13th 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

1.1132

0.7279

40E

74%

Nov 23

Astrological symbol for Sagittarius

Sgr

-4.0

16".0

View of Venus from Earth on November 23rd 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

1.0463

0.7272

42E

71%

Dec 3

Astrological symbol for Sagittarius

Sgr

-4.0

17".1

View of Venus from Earth on December 3rd 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

0.9775

0.7263

43E

68%

Dec 13

Astrological symbol for Capricornus

Cap

-4.1

18".4

View of Venus from Earth on December 13th 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

0.9070

0.7251

45E

64%

Dec 23

Astrological symbol for Capricornus

Cap

-4.1

20".0

View of Venus from Earth on December 23rd 2016 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

0.8350

0.7238

46E

61%

2017

Jan 2

Astrological symbol of Aquarius

Aqr

-4.2

22".0

View of Venus from Earth on January 2nd 2017 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

0.7620

0.7224

47E

56%

Jan 12

Astrological symbol of Aquarius

Aqr

-4.3

24".3

View of Venus from Earth on January 12th 2017 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

0.6880

0.7211

47E

51%

Jan 22

Astrological symbol of Aquarius

Aqr

-4.4

27".3

View of Venus from Earth on January 22nd 2017 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

0.6140

0.7200

47E

46%

Feb 1

Astrological symbol for Pisces

Psc

-4.4

31".0

View of Venus from Earth on February 1st 2017 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

0.5407

0.7191

46E

40%

Feb 11

Astrological symbol for Pisces

Psc

-4.5

35".7

View of Venus from Earth on February 11th 2017 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

0.4695

0.7186

43E

32%

Feb 21

Astrological symbol for Pisces

Psc

-4.5

41".6

View of Venus from Earth on February 21st 2017 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

0.4030

0.7184

38E

24%

Mar 3

Astrological symbol for Pisces

Psc

-4.4

48".6

View of Venus from Earth on March 3rd 2017 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

0.3450

0.7186

31E

15%

Mar 13

Astrological symbol for Pisces

Psc

-4.2

55".4

View of Venus from Earth on March 13th 2017 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

0.3018

0.7192

21E

6%

Mar 23

Astrological symbol for Pisces

Psc

-3.9

59".3

View of Venus from Earth on March 23rd 2017 at 0h UT (Image modified from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4)

0.2816

0.7201

9E

1%

* 1 AU (Astronomical Unit) = 149,597,870 kms (92,955,806 statute miles)

Table of selected data relating to the evening apparition of Venus during 2016-17. The data is listed at 10-day intervals, corresponding with the dates shown in bright white on the star maps (top of page). The data for the table was obtained from 'MegaStar', 'Redshift 5'  and 'SkyGazer Ephemeris' software and the Venusian disk images were derived from NASA's Solar System Simulator v4.

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The first two visible planetary conjunctions of the apparition take place on the very same day, both of them best seen from the Southern hemisphere. At 05 hours UT on August 27th, Venus (mag. -3.8) passes 5.2 North of Mercury (+0.9). Jupiter (-1.5) is just 0.7 away to the ESE of Venus, whilst the star Zavijah (Greek lower-case letter 'beta' Vir or Beta Virginis, mag. +3.6) is also nearby.

Seventeen hours later, at 22 hours UT, Venus passes just 4' (0.06) North of Jupiter itself - the closest visible conjunction of these two planets since 1990, the next closest being in 2065. The very close conjunction of 2016 provides a visual treat for both naked-eye observers and binocular users alike. Telescope users can easily contain the pair within the field of view of a high-magnification eyepiece. As Venus passes Jupiter, it is moving at a rate of 1.23 per day against the background stars, which is about its fastest rate of motion for the whole apparition. For more details on this and the other Venus conjunctions of 2016-17, see the planetary conjunctions section below.

Soon after the Venus-Jupiter conjunction has taken place, at around 22 hours UT, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury form a straight line measuring some 5.1 in length, orientated NNE-SSW (measured relative to celestial North). Zavijah narrowly misses inclusion in the line-up, being positioned just 5' (0.08) to the West of the line. The line-up is by no means equally spaced, Mercury being 5 away from Jupiter and its closely-aligned partner.

On August 30th at around 0620 UT, the trio form an isoscelene triangle 5.1 high and 2.5 wide, the apex of the triangle (occupied by Mercury) this time pointing SSW towards the constellation of Hydra, the Water Snake. Mercury reaches its Eastern stationary point on the same day.

Venus crosses the celestial equator (declination = 0) in a Southward direction on August 31st.

2 0 1 6  September

On September 2nd at 0520 UT Venus, Mercury and Jupiter form a nice triangle in Western Virgo, with Jupiter at the apex. The two equal sides of the triangle (formed by Venus-Jupiter and Jupiter-Mercury) are 5.4 long. The waxing crescent Moon joins the group later that day. From around midnight UT on September 3rd, observers located in North-western South America, Southern Central America and the Caribbean are able to witness the Moon passing in front of Jupiter, blocking it from view, in an event known as a lunar occultation. Venus passes 0.4 South of the star Zaniah (Greek lower-case letter 'eta' Vir or Eta Virginis, mag. +3.8) at around 08 hours UT on the same day.

From around 1150 UT on September 3rd, observers located in North-eastern Mongolia (including Ulanbaatar) are able to see the only lunar occultation of Venus of the 2016-17 evening apparition. The event, which also involves Zaniah, is seen in twilight, taking place shortly before local Moonset. A visibility map and timings of this event can be found by following the link in the 'Moon near Venus dates' section below. The Moon remains in the vicinity of the planetary trio through to September 5th.

On September 8th Venus passes 2.1 South of the double star Porrima or Arich (Greek lower-case letter 'gamma' Vir or Gamma Virginis, mag. +3.5) then on September 14th it passes 1.2 South of the star Theta Virginis (Greek lower-case letter 'theta' Vir, mag. +4.4). Three days later (17th) the planet passes 2.6 North of the constellation's brightest star Spica (Greek lower-case letter 'alpha' Vir or Alpha Virginis, mag. +1.0).

Venus crosses the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun, which the Moon and planets follow very closely) heading Southwards on September 27th, entering Libra, the Balance (or Scales) on September 30th.

By late September Venus' solar elongation has extended to 30 and its apparent size has increased slightly to 12". The apparent disk size will continue to increase as the apparition progresses. Telescopes show a notably gibbous phase a little under 90% illuminated.

2 0 1 6  October

On October 6th, Venus passes 0.8 South of Libra's second-brightest star, the double star Zuben Elgenubi (Greek lower-case letter 'alpha'2 Lib or Alpha2 Librae, mag. +2.8) at the Western end of the constellation's identifiable four-sided figure. Three days later (9th) the planet passes 7.3 North of the star Brachium or Zuben Algubi (Greek lower-case letter 'sigma' Lib or Sigma Librae, mag. +3.3) which is at the Southernmost point of the figure. On October 11th the planet passes 9.3 South of Zuben Elschemali (Greek lower-case letter 'beta' Lib or Beta Librae, mag. +2.5), the Northernmost star of the figure.

On October 14th, Venus passes 3.0 South of the star 32 Librae (mag. +5.6), a faint star which the planet will occult during its morning apparition in December 2031. It is the Westernmost of an arc of three 5th-magnitude stars which are positioned South of Zuben Elakrab (Greek lower-case letter 'gamma' Lib or Gamma Librae, mag. +4.0). Zuben Elakrab is the Easternmost star of the Libra figure, and Venus passes 5.4 to the South of it on October 15th.

Venus enters Scorpius, the Scorpion, on October 17th, passing 0.8 North of the star Dschubba (Greek lower-case letter 'delta' Sco or Delta Scorpii, mag. +2.2), marking the forehead of the Scorpion, on October 20th. The planet passes 2.2 South of the double-star Graffias (Greek lower-case letter 'beta'1 Sco or Beta-1 Scorpii, combined mag. +2.6) on October 21st. The two blue-white components (Greek lower-case letter 'beta'1 Sco and Greek lower-case letter 'beta'2 Sco) are magnitudes +2.6 and +4.9, separated by 13".7 and are easily seen in small telescopes. Beta-1 Scorpii is itself also double, having a tenth-magnitude companion positioned less than an arcsecond away, separable only in larger telescopes.

Later that same day, Venus passes about 1.4 South the two Omegan stars Jabhat al Akrab (Greek lower-case letter 'omega'1 Sco or Omega-1 Scorpii, mag. +3.9) and Omega-2 Scorpii (Greek lower-case letter 'omega'2 Sco, mag. +4.3), taking just 1 hours to traverse the longitudinal distance between them.

Situated a few degrees to the North-east of the two Omegan stars is the star Jabbah (Greek lower-case letter 'nu' Sco or Nu Scorpii, mag. +4.0). It is a quadruple star, i.e. it appears as a double-star through small telescopes, but larger telescopes reveal each of its component stars to be double. Venus passes 3.0 South of Jabbah on October 22nd.

At 18 hours UT on October 23rd, Venus passes just 16' (0.26) North of the globular cluster M80 (or NGC 6093), which has an integrated magnitude of +7.3. Like most of the brighter globulars, it appears as a faint, circular, fuzzy spot of light through binoculars under dark skies. The narrow separation means that the two objects can be contained within the eyepiece view of a wide-field, low-magnification ocular, whilst binocular users will see the planet and cluster appear in very close proximity. The very large magnitude difference between the two objects, however, means that the pairing is difficult to view because of the glare produced by Venus.

Now approaching the Eastern border of Scorpius, the planet passes 2.7 North of the variable star Alniyat (Greek lower-case letter 'sigma' Sco or Sigma Scorpii, mag. +2.9) on October 24th. Venus enters Ophiuchus, the Serpent-Bearer, the following day (25th) and 30 minutes later passes 3.5 North of the globular cluster M4 (NGC 6121), a 6th-magnitude cluster located across the border to the South in Scorpius. M4 is visible through binoculars under truly dark skies. Being so close to Scorpius' brightest star Antares (Greek lower-case letter 'alpha' Sco or Alpha Scorpii, mag. +1.3), it is easy to find and, at 20' in diameter, it is wonderfully resolved through telescopes. It is not a particularly concentrated cluster but has an eye-catching central 'bar' of faint stars running vertically through its centre.

Venus passes 3.1 North of Antares on October 26th. The star shines with an unmistakable orange-red hue, rivalling the colour of the planet Mars, after which the star is named. Mars itself is currently located some 40 away to the East, shining one whole magnitude brighter than Antares and moving slowly Eastwards through Sagittarius, the Archer.

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On October 27th Venus passes 4.7 North of the star Tau Scorpii (Greek lower-case letter 'tau' Sco, mag. +2.7), which is positioned a short distance to the South-east of Antares. On October 30th the planet passes 10.2 North of the star Epsilon Scorpii (Greek lower-case letter 'epsilon' Sco, mag. +2.2) which, with a declination of -34.3, can only be seen from latitudes South of 55.7 North. Five hours later, Venus (mag. -3.9) passes 3.0 South of Saturn (mag. +0.6) in the third observable planetary conjunction of Venus' 2016-17 evening apparition. This is a relatively wide conjunction which is best seen from the Southern hemisphere; it cannot be observed from higher Northern latitudes. Saturn has faded since reaching opposition in the previous June, although its wide-open rings continue to make it a nice telescopic sight.

Venus exits Chart 1 on October 31st, following which there is a 5-day 'gap' in chart coverage before the planet enters Chart 2 in early November, positioned in Eastern Ophiuchus.

2 0 1 6  November

On November 3rd Venus passes 1.7 North of the star 36 Ophiuchi (mag. +4.5), which the planet will occult during its evening apparition in October 2021. On November 5th the planet passes just 2'.5 (0.04) South of Ophiuchus' eighth-brightest star Theta Ophiuchi (Greek lower-case letter 'theta' Oph, mag. +3.2), the brightest star in this Southern section of the constellation.

Up until this time, observers situated at higher Northern latitudes have had much difficulty observing Venus due to its low altitude after sunset and the long summer twilight. Here, the planet has been setting in twilight since the start of the apparition several months ago - even in early November, Venus is setting just 1 hour after sunset at latitude 60 North. Circumstances here are soon about to change, however, as the local dusk twilight recedes and the planet begins to increase in altitude at any given time after sunset. Elsewhere, the planet is setting 1 hours after sunset (at mid-Northern latitudes), 2 hours after sunset (at Northern Tropical latitudes), 2 hours after sunset (at Equatorial and Southern Tropical latitudes) and 3 hours after sunset (mid-Southern latitudes).

The rate at which Venus gains altitude (in relation to the local horizon at a given period after sunset) over the coming months is relatively fast in the Southern hemisphere but more gradual in the Northern hemisphere, the rate of increase being lesser as one moves further Northwards in latitude. At mid-Southern latitudes Venus' altitude at any given interval after sunset has been increasing at a rate of about 0.25 per day since the start of the apparition in early July. By contrast, at mid-Northern latitudes the rate of increase has been only half this amount since the start of the apparition in late July. During the 2016-17 evening apparition it is the Southern hemisphere which first sees Venus attain its highest point in the sky after sunset (in late Autumn), the Northern hemisphere witnessing this about a month or two later (in early Winter). Details of the planet's direction and altitude at 30 minutes after sunset for various latitudes are listed in the table below and they are also shown in the form of a horizon diagram.

Since the start of the apparition, observers at most latitudes have seen Venus drifting slowly Southwards along the horizon at any given interval after sunset. At mid-Southern latitudes in early November, the planet's Southward motion ceases, Venus appearing to 'pause' towards the WSW for several days. Hereafter, the planet will head Northwards along the horizon, its peak altitude being reached in early December (see horizon diagram for 30 South below).

Venus enters Sagittarius, the Archer, on November 9th. From November 12th-13th, the planet passes 1.2 South of the sixth-magnitude gaseous nebula labelled M8 (NGC 6523) and commonly called the Lagoon Nebula. With an apparent dimension of 90' by 40', Venus takes 16 hours to traverse the apparent width of the nebula (from 20 hours UT on November 12th to 12 hours UT on the 13th).

Over the next few weeks Venus passes the numerous bright stars which define the shape of Sagittarius' Archer figure, along with six globular clusters, which are particularly numerous in this region of the night sky. From November 13th-25th the planet passes just to the North of the constellation's famous asterism, the Teapot. It is bounded by eight stars which, taken counter-clockwise, are: Nash, Kaus Meridionalis, Kaus Borealis, Phi Sagittarii, Nunki, Tau Sagittarii, Ascella and Kaus Australis. Venus' path on this occasion just clips the top of the teapot.

On November 13th Venus passes 4.8 North of the star Nash or Al Nasl (Greek lower-case letter 'gamma' Sgr or Gamma Sagittarii, mag. +3.0), a name which is Arabic for 'point of the arrow'. At around 0030 UT on the following day (14th) the planet passes between two 8th-magnitude globular clusters, NGC 6544 (apparent diameter 8'.9) and NGC 6553 (8'.1). The clusters are separated in the night sky by 1 in a NNW-SSE orientation; both are only seen well in larger telescopes. The planet passes closer to NGC 6553 (the Southernmost of the two) by a distance ratio of 2:1.

Star chart showing the paths of Venus, Mercury, Mars and Saturn through the zodiac constellations for the earlier part of Venus' evening apparition in 2016-17 (Copyright Martin J Powell 2016)

The Paths of Venus, Mercury, Mars and Saturn through the zodiac constellations during the earlier part of Venus' evening apparition in 2016-17. The latter part of the planet's apparition appears in the star chart above. Positions of Venus, Mercury and Mars are plotted for 0 hrs Universal Time (UT) at 5-day intervals; Saturn's position is plotted on the 1st day of each month. For Venus, apparition data for the dates shown in bright white (at 10-day intervals) are included in the table above.

The paths of Venus and Jupiter come very close to each other in late August/early September 2016, in the region of the chart enclosed by a brown rectangle. For the sake of clarity, Jupiter's path is shown in a separate chart here (Northern hemisphere view) and here (Southern hemisphere view), with positions plotted on the 1st day of each month.

Both evening and morning apparitions of Mercury are included. Wherever a planet is too close to the Sun to view, the path is shown by a dashed line (- -). Hence Mercury's evening apparition draws to a close in early September 2016. It then becomes lost from view in the evening twilight as it heads towards inferior conjunction with the Sun. The planet then re-emerges in the dawn twilight in late September for a morning apparition which lasts into early October. Because Mercury is only ever seen in twilight, many of the fainter stars shown in the planet's vicinity may not be visible when the planet itself is observed.

The positions at which Mercury and Venus attain greatest elongation from the Sun are indicated by the letters 'GE', with the solar elongation angle in brackets; it is Eastern (E) in the evening and Western (W) in the morning (the elongation of Venus is Easterly throughout the chart coverage). The July-August 2016 evening apparition of Mercury favours Southern hemisphere observers whilst the morning apparition of September-October favours Northern hemisphere observers (who should refer to the Southern hemisphere chart for a more appropriate orientation).

The faintest stars shown on the chart have an apparent magnitude of about +4.8. Printer-friendly versions of this chart are available for Northern and Southern hemisphere views. Astronomical co-ordinates of Right Ascension (longitude, measured Eastwards in hrs:mins) and Declination (latitude, measured in degrees North or South of the celestial equator) are marked around the border of the chart.

Click here to see a 'clean' star map of the area (i.e. without planet paths); a printable version can be found here.

Planetary conjunctions of Venus with Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn take place during the period of the star chart coverage; these are indicated by the symbol Conjunction symbol. For more details see the planetary conjunctions section below.

Later that same day, at around 1430 UT, Venus attains its most Southerly point in the zodiac for the 2016-17 apparition, with a declination (symbol Greek lower-case letter 'delta') of -25 35' 26" (-25.59 in decimal form), positioned just North of the Archer's arrow. From all Earthly latitudes outside of the polar regions, Venus now sets at its most Southerly point along the local horizon.

Venus' solar elongation reaches 40 East of the Sun on November 13th. The planet has become an interesting telescopic object, with an apparent diameter of 15" and showing a gibbous, 75% illuminated phase. Its magnitude has brightened a fraction to -4.0.

At Equatorial latitudes, Venus' daily Southward motion along the horizon ceases in mid-November. At 30 minutes after sunset, Venus appears to 'pause' in the WSW for several days. The planet heads Northwards along the horizon hereafter, reaching peak altitude in late December/early January. When the path of Venus in the evening sky is plotted for each day of the 2016-17 apparition at 30 minutes after sunset (see horizon diagrams below), the resulting profile at latitudes North of about 10 South are seen to have a broader and flatter peak. Hence during the 2016-17 evening apparition, Northern latitudes see the planet higher in the sky for a longer period (ca. 1-2 months) than in the Southern hemisphere (ca. 2 weeks).

On November 16th Venus passes 4.2 North of the star Kaus Meridionalis (Greek lower-case letter 'delta' Sgr or Delta Sagittarii, mag. +2.7) which marks the centre of the Archer's bow. The following day (17th) the planet passes 0.7 South of the 7th-magnitude globular cluster M28 (NGC 6626), which has an apparent diameter of 11'.2. Later that same day the planet passes just 7'.5 (0.12) South of the orange star Kaus Borealis (Greek lower-case letter 'lambda' Sgr or Lambda Sagittarii, mag. +2.8) which marks the top of the Archer's bow (and the top of the Teapot asterism). On November 18th Venus passes a mere 1'.6 (0.02) South of the faint, 9th-magnitude globular cluster NGC 6638. This is another difficult and concentrated globular, 5' in diameter, which is only well resolved in larger optical instruments. On November 19th the planet passes 1.5 South of the much brighter globular cluster M22 (NGC 6656) which is considered to be one of the finest globulars in the night sky. Its integrated magnitude is about +5.9 and it has an apparent diameter of 24'. It is just visible to the naked-eye from dark sites, is easily seen through binoculars and is a spectacular sight through telescopes.

The four stars which Venus passes over the next five days form the 'handle' of the Teapot. The planet passes 1.6 North of Phi Sagittarii (Greek lower-case letter 'phi' Sgr, mag. +3.1) on November 21st; 1.1 North of the constellation's second-brightest star Nunki (Greek lower-case letter 'sigma' Sgr or Sigma Sagittarii, mag. +2.0) on November 22nd; 4.8 North of Ascella (Greek lower-case letter 'zeta' Sgr or Zeta Sagittarii, mag. +2.6) on November 24th and finally, 2.7 North of Tau Sagittarii (Greek lower-case letter 'tau' Sgr, mag. +3.3) on November 25th. Later the same day, Venus passes 3.8 South of the star Albaldah (Greek lower-case letter 'pi' Sgr or Pi Sagittarii, mag. +2.9), positioned at the top of the Archer's head, which Venus will occult during its morning apparition in 2035.

From mid to late November, observers at mid-Southern latitudes see Venus at its highest and best for the 2016-17 apparition. At 35 South, some 30 minutes after sunset, Venus is placed 30 high in the Western sky, setting around 3 hours after the Sun.

On November 29th at around 18 hours UT, Venus is positioned at precisely 1.00 Astronomical Unit (AU) from the Earth, i.e. the same distance as the average distance of the Earth from the Sun (149.5 million kms or 92.9 million statute miles). The distance between Venus and the Earth is reducing at an average daily rate of about 1.03 million kms (641,000 statute miles) at this point in the apparition.

Now clear of the brighter stars of the Archer, Venus heads into the Eastern half of the constellation, passing 0.8 North of the star 52 Sagittarii (mag. +4.6) on November 30th.

2 0 1 6  December

On December 6th, the planet passes 0.8 South of M75 (NGC 6864), a distant and compact 8th-magnitude cluster. It has an apparent diameter of only 6' and lies just 0.3 from the Eastern border of Sagittarius.

At any given interval after sunset, observers at mid-Northern latitudes have seen Venus head Southwards along the horizon at a rate of about 0.5 per day since mid-July. In early December, observers at these latitudes see Venus' Southward motion along the horizon cease in the South-west for several days, its rate of increase in altitude peaking at 0.2 per day at this point. The planet heads Northwards along the horizon hereafter, continuing through to the end of the apparition (see horizon diagram for 35 North below).

Whilst the visibility of Venus is improving in the Northern hemisphere, the situation is beginning to worsen in the Southern hemisphere. At mid-Southern latitudes, Venus' altitude above the local horizon at a given time after sunset begins to fall away with each passing day, the planet having spent only around a fortnight at its highest altitude.

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Venus enters Capricornus, the Sea-Goat, on December 7th. On December 9th the planet passes 9.5 South of the stars Prima Giedi (Greek lower-case letter 'alpha'1 Cap, or Alpha 1 Capricorni, mag. +4.2) and Secunda Giedi (Greek lower-case letter 'alpha'2 Cap or Alpha 2 Capricorni, mag. +3.6), collectively known as Al Giedi or Algedi. The pair are separated in the night sky by 6'.4 (0.1) and are an easy optical double, meaning that they appear to the naked-eye as a double star but they are not physically related (in this case being 700 light years and 108 light years distant, respectively). Through a telescope, the pair are both seen to be double, Prima Giedi having a 9th-magnitude companion (also an optical double) and Secunda Giedi having a genuine binary companion of 11th-magnitude. Larger telescopes reveal that this 11th-magnitude star is itself double.

Later on December 9th, Venus passes 7.0 South of the star Dabih (Greek lower-case letter 'beta' Cap or Beta Capricorni, mag. +3.0), which is positioned to the SSE of Al Giedi. On December 19th the planet passes 1.5 South of Theta Capricorni (Greek lower-case letter 'theta' Cap, mag. +4.0) in the centre of the constellation. On December 23rd the planet passes 0.6 South of the star Iota Capricorni (Greek lower-case letter 'iota' Cap, mag. +4.3), then 0.8 North of Nashira (Greek lower-case letter 'gamma' Cap or Gamma Capricorni, mag. +3.7) on December 27th. Finally, on December 28th Venus passes 1.0 North of the constellation's brightest star, the variable star Deneb Algiedi (Greek lower-case letter 'delta' Cap or Delta Capricorni, mag. +2.9v) positioned at the tail-end of the Sea-Goat.

In mid-December, observers at higher Northern latitudes see Venus' Southward motion along the horizon at a given period after sunset cease in the South-west for several days, its motion in azimuth now having fully transformed into a motion in altitude (see horizon diagram for 55 North below). The rate of increase in altitude peaks at 0.4 per day at this point. Just like at the other latitudes, Venus will head Northwards along the horizon hereafter but it will also cover a much greater span in azimuth through to the end of the apparition (ca. 93 over the course of 3 months, or about 0.9 per day). The planet's peak altitude will be reached in mid-February 2017 - considerably later than at all latitudes further South.

Around late December, observers at Southern Tropical latitudes see Venus at its best for the 2016-17 evening apparition. Half an hour after sunset, the planet is positioned 34 above the Western horizon (a third of the way 'up the sky'), setting a little over 3 hours after the Sun.

The year 2016 ends with Venus entering Aquarius, the Water-Carrier, on December 31st.

2 0 1 7  January

On January 1st, Mars (mag. +0.9) and Neptune (+7.9) experience their own planetary conjunction in central Aquarius, some 12 to the North-east of Venus. Since Neptune cannot be seen with the naked-eye, this event can only be seen with optical aid. The crescent Moon joins the pair on January 3rd, Neptune being occulted by the Moon from around 06 hours UT. The event is visible from the North-eastern Pacific Ocean (including the Hawaiian islands), where it is evening on January 2nd (local time). Soon after the occultation, the Moon moves North-eastward to a position mid-way between the two planets from around 0650 UT. Mars and Neptune are separated by 1.4, the Moon being offset Northwards from the line by just 0.2. Although this is not a naked-eye trio of Solar System bodies, it is nonetheless interesting because it is one of only a small number of trios involving two planets and the Moon which will take place in the coming decades, all of which are contained within an apparent diameter of just 2. Between 2017 and 2050 there are fifteen such trios, only seven of them involving the true naked-eye planets (for more details, refer to the link in the credits section below). Mars is itself occulted by the Moon from around 0800 UT on the same day, seen in darkness from the central Pacific Ocean.

In early January Venus is best seen from Equatorial latitudes. Here the planet stands 38 above the WSW horizon at 30 minutes after sunset, remaining visible for over 3 hours thereafter. From Equatorial latitudes, twilight is brief throughout the year, so the planet is mostly seen in its true brilliant splendor against a fully dark sky.

Venus passes 0.8 North of the star Iota Aquarii (Greek lower-case letter 'iota' Aqr, mag. +4.2) on January 2nd, then 4.1 South of the star Ancha (Greek lower-case letter 'theta' Aqr or Theta Aquarii, mag. +4.1), positioned at the elbow of the Water-Carrier, on January 5th. Between December 6th and 9th, Venus passes about 10 South of the so-called 'Steering Wheel' asterism, Aquarius' best-known identifier.

On January 7th at around 11 hours UT, the distance between the Earth and Venus is the same as that between the Sun and Venus, at 0.7217 AU (107.9 million kms or 67.1 million miles). Seen from far above the Earth's North pole, the Earth, Venus and the Sun now form an isoscelene triangle in space, with Venus positioned at the apex.

On January 12th at 1310 UT, Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the Sun for this apparition (47.14 East) in central Aquarius. At this point, telescopes show Venus' disk half-illuminated (phase = 0.50 or 50%) with an apparent diameter of 24".4 and shining at magnitude -4.3. Although the greatest elongation from the Sun takes place on January 12th, Venus is in fact positioned at 47.1 elongation for a nine-day period from January 8th through to the 16th. The Earth, Venus and the Sun now form a right-angled triangle in space, with Venus positioned at the 90 angle.

On greatest elongation day the planet sets almost 5 hours after sunset at high-Northern latitudes, 4 hours after sunset at mid-Northern latitudes, 3 hours after sunset at Northern Tropical latitudes, 2 hours after sunset at Equatorial and Southern Tropical latitudes and 2 hours after sunset at mid-Southern latitudes. At 30 minutes after sunset the planet stands highest in the sky (39) when seen from Northern Tropical latitudes. In stark contrast, at 30 minutes after sunset Venus appears just 16 above the horizon when seen from latitude 45 South.

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For telescopic observers of Venus, a high placement of the planet in the sky after sunset - whether or not this takes place around greatest elongation day - is of little benefit. Because of the planet's glare when seen against a darkening sky, coupled with the Earth's troublesome atmospheric turbulence at low altitudes, most telescope users observe the planet in full daylight, when it is high above the horizon and more easily seen against a brighter sky. Of course, extreme caution must be taken when attempting to observe any of the planets in daylight and the Sun must be positioned at a safe angular distance from the planet and be fully shielded from view.

For a few days around greatest elongation, telescopic observers often attempt to determine the precise moment when the terminator (the line separating the light and dark sides of the planet) appears perfectly straight, essentially dividing Venus into two perfect halves. Solar System geometry suggests that this should occur on greatest elongation day, however it often does not and the precise reason for this is not fully understood. Observers often report the straight terminator several days earlier or later than the greatest elongation date (early in evening apparitions and late in morning apparitions). This anomaly is commonly known as Schrter's Effect.

On January 13th Venus (mag. -4.3) passes 0.4 North of Neptune (+7.9) in the fourth and final planetary conjunction of the planet's 2016-17 evening apparition. With Venus at its maximum elongation from the Sun, this is theoretically an ideally placed planetary conjunction, however the large brightness difference between the two planets means that it is very difficult to observe.

With greatest elongation day having passed, the planet's phase changes from gibbous to crescentic, i.e. with a phase of less than 50%. Telescopically the next two months will prove most interesting as the crescent becomes more slender in appearance and enlarges with each passing day as the planet comes closer to the Earth in space.

Venus passes 4'.6 (0.07) North of the star Lambda Aquarii (Greek lower-case letter 'lambda' Aqr, mag. +3.9) on January 14th before crossing the ecliptic Northwards on January 17th. The planet passes 1.5 North of Phi Aquarii (Greek lower-case letter 'phi' Aqr, mag. +4.2) on January 20th.

In mid-January, observers at Northern Tropical latitudes see the 'Evening Star' attain its highest altitude after sunset for the 2016-17 apparition. At latitude 20 North Venus is positioned 39 high in the WSW at 30 minutes after sunset, setting almost 3 hours after the Sun. In fact, when considered in terms of the planet's visual impact and its ease of viewing, the 2016-17 evening apparition of Venus is best seen overall from Northern Tropical latitudes.

On January 23rd Venus enters Pisces, the Fishes, the final zodiacal constellation in which the planet is seen during the 2016-17 evening apparition. Venus is now pulling away Northwards from the ecliptic, increasing its angular distance from it with each passing day. Venus is 1 North of the ecliptic on January 26th (ecliptic latitude Greek lower-case letter 'beta' = +1.0), moving Northwards at a rate of about 0.15 in ecliptic latitude per day over the next few weeks. This Northward movement of the planet slightly improves the visibility of the planet after sunset from Northern hemisphere latitudes, but it increasingly worsens its visibility from Southern latitudes.

From January 22nd to 30th, Venus is positioned about 5 South of the Circlet of Pisces, located at the Western end of Pisces, the Fishes. The Circlet comprises six stars of fourth and fifth magnitude; under light-polluted conditions it is likely that some or all of them will not be seen with the naked-eye. Positioned a short distance away to the South-east of the Circlet is the Vernal Equinox point, where the Sun crosses the celestial equator (declination = 0) at the Vernal (Spring) equinox in the Northern hemisphere. It is also where the Right Ascension system of astronomical longitude originates (0h 0m 0s). The point is also referred to as the First Point of Aries and it is marked on the star chart by the Aries (Ram) symbol (Symbol of the 'First Point of Aries' or Vernal Equinox). Venus crosses the celestial equator heading Northwards on January 30th, positioned 4 to the West of the Vernal Equinox point.

Venus comes to within 5.3 of Mars, positioned further to the East, on January 31st, but does not reach conjunction with it. Mars, a pale orange dot to the South-west of the Circlet, is now well into the final quarter of its 2015-17 apparition, having faded from a bright magnitude -2.0 in mid-May of 2016 to just +1.1 at the present time.

2 0 1 7  February

In early February, observers at mid-Northern latitudes see the planet at its highest altitude after sunset for the 2016-17 apparition. At latitude 40 North, some 30 minutes after sunset, Venus is positioned a significant 35 high in the South-west, setting almost 4 hours after the Sun (see direction and altitude table below).

By the time Venus passes 4.3 South of the star Greek lower-case letter 'omega' Psc (Omega Piscium, mag. +4.0) on February 5th, it has moved almost 3 North of the ecliptic and by mid-February it is 4 North of it (Greek lower-case letter 'beta' = +4.0).

Around mid-February, observers at high Northern latitudes finally get their opportunity to see Venus at its highest altitude after sunset. At latitude 60 North some 30 minutes after sunset, the planet is positioned 29 above the South-western horizon, being visible for a significant 4-5 hours after sunset. Meanwhile, observers at higher-Southern latitudes begin to have some difficulty viewing Venus as it sinks into the dusk twilight, setting only an hour after the Sun. Here Venus' altitude above the Western horizon at a given period after sunset has been falling steadily since early December but it drops away rapidly after mid-February, the planet falling vertically at a rate of about 0.5 per day for several days.

By the third week of February, Venus' apparent diameter has swollen to almost 40", some four times the size it had appeared back in July of 2016. With an illuminated crescentic phase of 25% the planet is a beautiful sight when seen through even the smallest of telescopes.

Venus attains its greatest brilliancy for this apparition (mag. -4.5) on February 18th. This occurs when its illuminated phase and its angular size combine to best visual effect. For the 2016-17 apparition, this takes place when the planet is 27% illuminated (phase = 0.27), its angular diameter is 39".8 and its solar elongation is 40. Venus' daily North-eastward motion against the background stars is now slowing; on greatest elongation day on January 12th the planet was moving at a rate of about 1 per day, but it is now moving at about half of that rate. By late February Venus' direction of motion has become North-north-eastwards, its declination changing at a rate of ca. 0.2 per day.

Around February 20th, observers at mid-Southern latitudes see Venus return to the same relative spot above the local horizon that it had been positioned back in mid-August of 2016 (11 high in the WNW at 30 minutes after sunset), the planet having appeared to loop around the Western cardinal point over the course of the last seven months (see horizon diagram for 30 South below).

2 0 1 7  March

Venus' Eastward motion ceases on March 2nd when it reaches its Eastern stationary point, positioned 2.4 ESE of the star Lambda Piscis (Greek lower-case letter 'lambda' Psc, mag. +4.5), the most South-eastern star of the Circlet. Venus then starts to move retrograde (East to West) and its solar elongation reduces more rapidly with each passing day.

By March 5th, Venus stands nearly 7 North of the ecliptic, and bi-daily observations of Venus become possible by observers at latitudes North of about 40 North. A bi-daily observation is when Venus can be observed at both dawn and dusk on the same day. This can only happen when the planet is sufficiently far North or South of the Sun in the days around inferior conjunction (when it is very close to the Sun and is normally not visible). From higher Northern latitudes, bi-daily observations in the 2016-17 apparition should be possible through to inferior conjunction day itself (March 25th). For more details, refer to the bi-daily observations section of the Venus Conjunctions page.

Observers at Equatorial and Northerly latitudes see Venus' altitude at a given period after sunset fall away rapidly from early March. At the Equator, the planet's altitude in relation to the local horizon is in a vertical drop by mid-March, falling from 10 high at 30 minutes after sunset on March 8th to just 4 high on March 13th - a fall of 1.2 per day (see horizon diagram for the Equator below). Here, on March 10th, Venus returns to the same relative spot above the local horizon that it was back in early August of 2016 (8 high in the WNW at 30 minutes after sunset). Mid-Northern latitudes see a steep drop after the first week of March, the planet falling at a rate of about 1.3 per day through to mid-March. At 60 North latitude in early March, the planet is placed 23 high in the West at 30 minutes after sundown, but by mid-March it has fallen to 14 - an altitudinal drop of about 0.9 per day over the period. South of the Equator, Venus' apparent position above the local horizon at a given time after sunset is seen to 'backtrack' slightly in the closing days of the apparition, the planet heading a little Southwards along the horizon once more.

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As the apparition draws to a close from around mid-March, observers equipped with binoculars may attempt to detect the tiny crescent of Venus soon after sunset as it languishes low in the Western sky. Telescopes show a large, thin crescent at this point, over 50" in diameter, the image greatly disturbed by the Earth's turbulent atmosphere and split into the rainbow colours by an effect called dispersion (an example of how dispersion appears through a telescope can be seen here).

As the Venusian crescent continues to enlarge it also becomes more slender, so that the dark (non-illuminated) side of the planet is well-displayed when seen from the Earth. With the aid of ultraviolet and infrared filters, telescopic observers now begin their search for the mysterious and elusive Ashen Light, a faint glowing of the night side of Venus which has no clear explanation. The Ashen Light is considered to be caused either by the planet's surface glowing red hot (due to its extremely high surface temperature) or due to electrical activity in the planet's dense atmosphere. Intriguingly, reports of the Ashen Light have been rare in recent years, though it is difficult to say whether this is the result of improved observing equipment (i.e. eliminating contrast effects caused by poor optics) or a true reduction in activity of a genuine phenomenon.

On March 16th, Mercury passes 9.5 South of Venus in a planetary conjunction which, with Mercury being at a solar elongation of just 9, is too close to the Sun to observe.

Around this time, observers with exceptionally-good eyesight may attempt to view the crescent of Venus with the naked-eye. Whilst this may seem extraordinary, the planet's apparent size of around 50" brings it very close to the generally-accepted resolution limit of the human eye, i.e. 1 arcminute (60"). Because the planet's solar elongation is now around 20 or less, glare is no longer a problem because the planet is now seen in bright twilight through to its setting, thus reducing the aforementioned ray-spread and allowing the crescent to be discerned more easily.

Whilst observers in high-Northern latitudes are still enjoying views of the planet through mid-March, Southern hemisphere observers have mostly lost sight of the planet by this time. Venus' solar elongation reduces to 15 East of the Sun on March 17th and to 10 East on March 22nd. Equatorial latitudes lose sight of Venus by about March 18th whilst the Northern Tropics lose the planet only a few days later. Thereafter, only observers North of about 40 North have any chance of catching a glimpse of Venus in the bright twilight, poised low down over the WNW horizon soon after sunset. Venus has now faded somewhat to magnitude -4.0 but it is still the brightest object in the dusk sky apart from the Moon.

Venus speeds towards inferior conjunction - when it passes between the Earth and the Sun -  on March 25th 2017. At the moment of inferior conjunction, Venus is positioned central Pisces, some 8.3 North of the Sun's centre (Greek lower-case letter 'beta' = +8.3). After inferior conjunction, the planet heads into the morning sky. Soon after, Venus is sighted again from Southern latitudes, rising in the Eastern sky as a 'Morning Star' shortly before the Sun, heralding a new morning apparition which lasts through to November 2017.

 [Terms in yellow italics are explained in greater detail in an associated article describing planetary movements in the night sky.]

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Finding Venus in Your Local Night Sky using AstroViewer

Where in the night sky should I look for Venus tonight? In which direction and how high up will it be?

The location of a planet (or any other celestial body) in your local night sky depends upon several factors: the constellation in which it is positioned, your geographical latitude and longitude and the date and time at which you observe. To find a planet in the night sky at any particular date and time, we must know two things: a direction in which to look along the observer's horizon (e.g. Southeast, East-Southeast) and an angle to look above the horizon (known as altitude or elevation).

The following Javascript program can also be used to help find Venus (and any other planets) in your night sky throughout the year:

'Mini-AstroViewer' Java applet

For additional information on the fully-functional

version of the program, see here.

Mini-AstroViewer is an easy-to-use Java applet which shows the positions of the celestial bodies in the night sky for any location on the globe at any time of the year (Javascript must be enabled in your browser for the program to function).

To activate the program, click on the button below (the program will open in a pop-up window).

Please enable JAVATM to use the Mini-AstroViewer night sky map.

The default location is New York, USA. To select your own location and then find Venus, refer to the 'Finding Venus ..' box below.

An animated tutorial showing how to locate a planet in the night sky using Mini-AstroViewer can be seen here.

  • The applet also shows the positions of the planets in their orbits, viewed from a point in space far above the Solar System (click on the tab marked 'Solar System' at the top of the applet; use the left-hand scroll bar to zoom out).

Finding Venus in Your Own Night Sky using Mini-AstroViewer

Sun, Moon and planet colours as they appear in AstroViewer. The program displays the Moon in its correct phase

To set your own location, click on the 'Location' button and click on your approximate position on the pop-up world map. If you know your precise latitude and longitude, you can refine your position by pressing the left/right and up/down arrows to move the cross-hair in 1 increments (to find your latitude and longitude, visit the Heavens Above website, select your country and enter the name of your nearest town or city using the 'Town Search' facility). Having plotted your geographical co-ordinates, click 'OK' and the night sky over your own location will appear in the window, valid for the current time, which is displayed in UT (Universal Time, equivalent to GMT). The applet will initialise displaying the current UT time according to your browser's clock and Time Zone settings (if you would prefer to have the Local Time displayed, use the fully-functional version of the program at Astroviewer.com).

The red circle represents the horizon around you; the lower half of the display represents the part of the sky you are facing. The centre of the circle is the point directly above your head (known as the zenith). The ecliptic (the path along which the Sun, Moon and planets will be found) is marked by a red dashed line, passing as it does through the zodiac constellations. The blue dashed line marks the apparent position of the celestial equator, which arcs across the sky from the due East point on the horizon to the due West point. The program plots stars down to magnitude +5.0.

The bottom scroll bar rotates the horizon view, allowing for a view in any compass direction; the left-hand scroll bar zooms the sky in or out, and the right-hand scroll bar pans up (to the zenith) or down (to the horizon) whenever the view has been zoomed.

Mini-AstroViewer demonstration (click to visit AstroViewer website)

For a detailed animation showing how to use the

Mini-AstroViewer program, click here.

Information on a celestial body can be viewed by clicking on the object (in the case of a planet, its magnitude, distance, elongation and apparent diameter). Note that if the elongation (its angular distance from the Sun as seen from the Earth) is less than about 15, the planet will not normally be visible because it is too near the Sun. Remember that local twilight can affect the visibility of a particular planet, even at elongations greater than 15, making observation difficult or even impossible. This particularly applies throughout the local summer months at higher latitudes.

To locate Venus, first see if it is above the horizon at the time you are requesting. If it is visible within the circle, move the bottom scroll bar left or right to rotate the image until the planet is positioned on the vertical red line (the altitude scale). Zoom in to the area using the left-hand scroll bar where necessary (see animation opposite).

The direction of Venus at the requested time will be indicated at the bottom (W, SW, etc). The altitude of the planet (its angle above the horizon) can be read off on the altitude scale (it is marked at 10 intervals). Hence if it is three notches up, its altitude is 30 at the displayed time (to understand how to determine a planet's altitude in the night sky, refer to the two diagrams below). If Venus' altitude is less than about 5 it may be difficult to see because of the dimming effect of the Earth's atmosphere and, in town and city locations, the effects of light pollution or skyglow.

If Venus is not shown within the circle, it is below the horizon and you will have to wait until the next evening (for evening apparitions) or the next morning (for morning apparitions) before you can see it (provided it is not too near the Sun).

For evening apparitions (i.e. when Venus is an 'Evening Star') adjust the time display to the approximate time of the next sunset at your location (alternatively, simply click the 'hours/minutes forward' buttons (Forward in time button) until the Sun is positioned just below the horizon). Venus will become visible soon after sunset, so you should note down the direction and altitude of the planet at this time. For morning apparitions (i.e. when Venus is a 'Morning Star') click the 'hours forward' button (Forward in time button) repeatedly until the planet is above the eastern horizon, then note down the direction and altitude of the planet at this particular time.

Diagram showing how altitude (or elevation) is determined for a celestial body in the night sky

 

Direction and Altitude diagram

Angular altitude (or elevation) is measured as 0 at the horizon (when an object is at the point of rising or setting), 45 when 'half way up the sky' and 90 when directly above the observer's head (at the zenith). In the above picture, the bright star has an altitude of about 60 (i.e. it is "60 high").

Using direction and altitude to find a star or planet in the night sky - in this case, the star/planet is in the South-east (SE) at an altitude of 20.

 

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The Current Night Sky over Cape Town, South Africa  Flag of South Africa

Requested by Wouter Kriel

Would you like to see your own town or city shown here?

 

Requested locations may appear on another planet page (see links below) depending upon the number of requests received by the author at any given time.

A list of the night sky locations currently displayed on this website can be seen on the main Naked-eye planets page.

The graphic shows the sky at the location indicated when this page was loaded in your browser; if several minutes have since passed, click the 'Refresh' button at the top of your browser (or press the F5 key) to see the current sky.

The Night Sky location displayed here is periodically changed by the website author.

Additional AstroViewer Information

Mini-AstroViewer is a lightweight version of AstroViewer, an interactive night sky map that helps you find your way in the night sky quickly and easily. Due to its intuitive interface, it is well suited to beginners in astronomy.

The fully functional, free-to-use version can be accessed at the AstroViewer website. It has additional features such as a Local Time display, a planet visibility chart for any selected location, a 3D Solar System map, the ability to store user-generated world locations, a 'Find Celestial Body' facility, printing and language options and greater flexibility in the night sky display (see details here).

A fully-functional version for offline use can be obtained upon the purchase of a license key, following the download and installation of a test version.

AstroViewer is produced by Dirk Matussek.

Current night sky over Cape Town

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Venus Conjunctions with other Planets in 2016-17

Viewed from the orbiting Earth, whenever two planets appear to pass each other in the night sky (a line-of-sight effect) the event is known as a conjunction or an appulse. However, not all conjunctions will be visible from the Earth because many of them take place too close to the Sun. Furthermore, not all conjunctions will be seen from across the world; the observers' latitude will affect the altitude (angle above the horizon) at which the two planets are seen at the time of the event, and the local season will affect the sky brightness at that particular time. A flat, unobstructed horizon will normally be required to observe most of them.

Conjunctions are generally considered most noteworthy when they involve two bright planets, and no planetary conjunction is more spectacular than those involving Venus. During the course of one Earth year, Venus is seen to complete over 1 circuits of the zodiac, and in doing so it passes each of the planets in the sky - a few of them on more than one occasion.

Venus and Jupiter near conjunction in the dusk sky in late June 2015 (Photo: Copyright Martin J Powell, 2015)

Venus-Jupiter Conjunction, June 2015

A conjunction of Venus and Jupiter took place at dusk on June 30th 2015. Venus is the lower and brighter of the two planets, visible at the upper right of the photo. The moment of closest separation (20' or 0.3) was on July 1st, several hours after this photo was taken. Click on the thumbnail for the full-size picture and click here for a close-up view.

Because Venus never appears more than 47 from the Sun, it follows that any planetary conjunction involving Venus will also never occur above this angular distance, i.e. its solar elongation will always be less than 47. For an Earthbound observer, a superior planet (i.e. Mars and beyond) seen at such a small elongation poses something of a problem, since it will then be considerably more distant from the Earth (and therefore fainter) than when it is closest and brightest in the sky (namely, at opposition, when its elongation is 180 from the Sun).

Jupiter is affected to a much lesser extent since it is always above magnitude -1.6 (brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the sky). Conjunctions between Venus and Jupiter are arguably the most spectacular to view, Venus always being the brighter of the two. They typically happen at intervals of about 445 days, 443 days and 305 days. The Venus-Jupiter conjunction of August 27th 2016 is the closest visible conjunction of these two planets since August 1990, and the closest until November 2065 (when Venus will pass in front of Jupiter in a very rare and difficult-to-see planetary occultation).

The 2016 conjunction is, however, poorly placed for Northern hemisphere observers and is not visible at all North of about 45 North latitude. Southern hemisphere viewers are able to see the two planets at relatively decent altitudes in the evening sky, although the situation is not ideal since the pair are only 22 away from the Sun. Observers between latitudes 10 South and 30 South see the two planets at an altitude of about 17 above the Western horizon when Jupiter first appears in the dusk twilight, the pair remaining visible for about 1 hours before setting. Further South the altitudes are lower but the visible period is longer, owing to the shallower setting angle of celestial bodies at latitudes which are closer to the poles. At 35 South the pair are 16 high when Jupiter becomes visible, whilst at 45 South they are 14 high, being visible towards the WNW for almost 1 hours in both cases. At these latitudes the conjunction is spectacularly seen against a fully dark sky for much of this time. By contrast, Northern Tropical latitudes see the planets positioned just 9 above the Western horizon when Jupiter emerges into view, being visible for less than an hour. North of about latitude 35 North, the planets are seen in twilight through to setting.

In the August 2016 conjunction the planets are separated by just 4' (0.06) - three times closer than the famous double-star Mizar and Alcor in the 'handle' of the Big Dipper (Plough) - so that they can both be easily contained within the field of view of telescopes and binoculars. But more interestingly, the two planets are close to the minimum separation required in order for them to appear merged together by the naked-eye. Astronomy writer Fred Schaaf coined the term ray-spread to describe the apparent size that a bright planet's rays appear to subtend to the naked-eye when seen against a dark sky. He suggested that the ray-spreads of Venus and Jupiter subtend around 2' to 3' (0.03 to 0.05) to the average fully dark-adapted eye (Venus naturally having the wider spread). In order for them to begin to appear merged, the centres of the two planets would therefore need to be positioned less than about 2'.5 (0.04) apart; the August 2016 separation exceeds this figure by just 1'.5 (0.025). Schaaf suggests that close conjunctions such as this one provide ideal opportunities for observers to estimate the approximate ray-spreads of each planet.

Perhaps the next best planetary conjunction of the apparition is with Saturn (mag. +0.6) on October 30th. This relatively wide 3 conjunction in Ophiuchus is again best seen from the Southern hemisphere. It cannot be observed from higher Northern latitudes; here it is Autumn (Fall), positioning the two planets low above the South-western horizon at dusk and therefore poorly placed for observation. At latitude 50 North, the pair are just 7 above the horizon as Saturn comes into view in the dusk, being visible for less than an hour before setting. At Northern Tropical latitudes the pair are 22 high in the South-west as the ringed planet comes into view, visible for almost 2 hours before setting. For the Northern hemisphere, conjunctions between Venus and Saturn are destined to be poorly placed (in both morning and evening skies) for at least a few years to come as Saturn slowly makes its way Eastwards through the Southern reaches of the zodiac.

In the Southern hemisphere the ecliptic presents a steep angle to the horizon after sunset at this time of year, placing the two planets higher in the sky and thus visible for longer. At Southern Tropical latitudes the pair are 29 high in the WSW when Saturn first appears through the twilight, remaining visible for over 2 hours before setting. Further South the pair's altitude is less but they are visible for slightly longer. At 45 South, for example, the pair are 22 high in the Western sky as Saturn comes into view, remaining visible for over 2 hours before setting.

Paradoxically, the Northern hemisphere's best-placed conjunction of the 2016-17 evening apparition is, for technical reasons, also one of the most difficult to view. On January 13th 2017 Venus has a close conjunction with Neptune, then at magnitude +7.9. Since Neptune is not a naked-eye planet, optical aid is always required to glimpse it as a pale-blue 'star'. Even though the solar elongation is very favourable on this occasion, taking place when Venus is at its maximum Easterly elongation from the Sun, another problem beckons in that the glare caused by Venus (mag. -4.3) makes it difficult to see faint Neptune beside it. Binocular observers in particular may find it easier to position Venus just outside the binocular field of view so that Neptune may be more comfortably viewed.

A significant factor in determining whether a conjunction is 'poor', 'good' or 'very good' is the altitude that the fainter planet (in this case Neptune) is positioned when it first becomes visible in the fading dusk twilight. Neptune, being the faintest of all the planets, always requires more time to become visible in the twilight than the other planets and during this 'waiting time' its altitude will have fallen somewhat. On this occasion, Neptune requires 2 hours to become visible after sunset at latitude 60 North, 1 hours at mid-Northern latitudes and about an hour at most latitudes further South.

The Venus-Neptune conjunction is well-placed for Northern hemisphere latitudes because the planets' positioning in North-eastern Aquarius places the ecliptic at a relatively steep angle to the Western horizon after sunset. At mid-Northern latitudes the planets are placed around 25 above the South-western horizon as Neptune comes into view in the dusk twilight, the conjunction remaining visible for 2 hours thereafter. Northern Tropical latitudes see the pair at the highest altitude of the Northern hemisphere; here the pair are positioned 31 above the WSW horizon when Neptune is first glimpsed, remaining visible for about 2 hours before setting. The altitude falls away the further South one is located from the Northern Tropics: at 15 South latitude, for example, the planets are 25 high as Neptune becomes visible whilst at 35 South they are only 12 high.

Conjunctions between Venus and Mercury typically happen two or three times a year but many of them are too close to the Sun to observe; even when they are visible they are often difficult to see because of their narrow solar elongation. The only observable conjunction between the two during the 2016-17 evening apparition is a wide one, taking place on August 27th, only 16 hours before the aforementioned Venus-Jupiter conjunction. It is difficult to view North of the Equator and is not visible North of latitude 30 North. At the moment of conjunction, Jupiter is positioned less than a degree away from the pair and its proximity to Venus is sure to draw much greater attention.

The four planetary conjunctions with Venus which are viewable during the 2016-17 evening apparition are summarised in the table below.

Table showing the visible Venus conjunctions with other planets during the evening apparition of 2016-17 (Copyright Martin J Powell, 2014)

Venus conjunctions with other planets during the 2016-17 evening apparition The column headed 'UT' is the Universal Time (equivalent to GMT) of the conjunction (in hrs : mins). The separation (column 'Sep') is the angular distance between the two planets, measured relative to Venus, e.g. on 2016 Aug 27, Jupiter is positioned 0.1 South of Venus at the time shown. The 'Fav. Hem' column shows the Hemisphere in which the conjunction is best observed (Northern, Southern and/or Equatorial). The expression 'Not high N Lats' indicates that observers at latitudes further North than about 45N will most likely find the conjunction difficult or impossible to observe because of low altitude and/or bright twilight.

In the 'When Visible' column, a distinction is made between Dawn/Morning visibility and Dusk/Evening visibility; the terms Dawn/Dusk refer specifically to the twilight period before sunrise/after sunset, whilst the terms Evening/Morning refer to the period after darkness falls/before twilight begins (some conjunctions take place in darkness, others do not, depending upon latitude). The 'Con' column shows the constellation in which the planets are positioned at the time of the conjunction.

To find the direction in which the conjunctions are seen on any of the dates in the table, note down the constellation in which the planets are located ('Con' column) on the required date and find the constellation's rising direction (for Dawn/Morning apparitions) or setting direction (for Dusk/Evening apparitions) for your particular latitude in the Rise-Set direction table.

The table is modified from another showing Venus conjunctions with other planets from 2015 to 2020 on the Venus Conjunctions page.

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Moon near Venus Dates, August 2016 to February 2017

The Moon is easy to find, and on one or two days in each month, it passes Venus in the sky. Use the following table to see on which dates the Moon passes near the planet between August 2016 and February 2017:

Date Range

(World)

Conjunction (Geocentric)

Solar Elong.

Moon Phase

Date & Time

Sep. & Dir.

2016

Aug 3/4

Aug 4, 06:16 UT

2.9 N

16E

Waxing Crescent

throughout

Sep 2/3*

Sep 3, 10h UT

1.3 S

24E

Oct 3/4

Oct 3, 17:28 UT

5.0 S

31E

Nov 2/3

Nov 3, 03h UT

7.3 S

38E

Dec 2/3

Dec 3, 10h UT

5.8 S

43E

2017

Jan 1/2

Jan 2, 09:19 UT

1.9 S

47E

Waxing Crescent

throughout

Jan 31/..

Jan 31, 14:33 UT

4.0 N

45E

..Feb 1

Feb 28/..

Feb 28, 19:58 UT

10.2 N

33E

..Mar 1

* A lunar occultation takes place, visible in twilight from North-eastern Mongolia. See The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan website for visibility track and timings.

Moon near Venus dates for the evening apparition of 2016-17. The Date Range shows the range of dates worldwide (allowing for Time Zone differences across East and West hemispheres). Note that the dates, times and separations at conjunction (i.e. when the two bodies are at the same Right Ascension) are measured from the Earth's centre (geocentric) and not from the Earth's surface (times are Universal Time [UT], equivalent to GMT). The Sep. & Dir. column gives the angular distance (separation) and direction of the planet relative to the Moon, e.g. on October 3rd at 17:28 UT, Venus is positioned 5.0 South of the Moon's centre.

Because Venus never appears more than 47 from the Sun, the Moon always shows a crescent phase whenever it passes the planet in the sky: a waxing crescent during evening apparitions and a waning crescent during morning apparitions.

 

 A lunar occultation of Venus on December 1st, 2008 (Copyright Martin J Powell, 2008)

 

On December 1st, 2008 observers in Europe and North-west Africa witnessed the four-day-old Moon passing in front of Venus (in an event called a lunar occultation) around local sunset/dusk. This photograph of the event was taken by the author from the south-western United Kingdom. Venus had just emerged from behind the Moon after being hidden from view for about 90 minutes. Depending upon the angular size and phase of Venus at the time of any given occultation, it can take anything from several seconds to more than a minute for the planet to become completely obscured by the passing Moon, and the same time to re-appear. This is in contrast to a star, which, being a very distant point of light, disappears behind the Moon more or less instantaneously.

During the same evening, Venus, Jupiter and the crescent Moon formed an impressive celestial grouping in the sky, whose appearance varied somewhat depending upon the observers' location and the time of viewing. The grouping was nicknamed 'the smiley face' conjunction and many photos of the event were taken by the general public worldwide.

The Moon moves relatively quickly against the background stars (in an Eastward direction, at about its own angular width [0.5] each hour, or about 12.2 per day) and because it is relatively close to the Earth, an effect called parallax causes it to appear in a slightly different position (against the background stars) when seen from any two locations on the globe at any given instant; the further apart the locations, the greater the Moon's apparent displacement against the background stars. Therefore, for any given date and time listed in the table, the Moon may appear closer to Venus when seen from some locations than others. For this reason, the dates shown in the table should be used only for general guidance.

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Direction, Altitude & Visibility Duration of Venus after Sunset, August 2016 to March 2017

The following tables give the direction and altitude (angle above the horizon) of Venus at 30 minutes after sunset, together with the duration of visibility of the planet after sunset, for the 2016-17 evening apparition. An explanation of abbreviations in the tables is given in the box below. For the sake of convenience, the table is split into Northern and Southern hemisphere latitudes (the Equator is included in both tables to allow interpolation of the data for observers situated at Equatorial latitudes). The tables should prove sufficient to locate the planet in twilight, allowing telescope users to view the planet in comfort (because of Venus' brilliance, glare becomes a problem when the planet is seen through the eyepiece against a dark sky). Direction and Altitude diagrams are also provided below for intermediate latitudes of 55 North, 35 North, 30 South and the Equator.

The tables allow one to find the highest altitude in the sky which Venus attains for any given latitude during the 2016-17 evening apparition, and in which direction it is seen. For example, observers situated at latitude 30 North will find the planet highest in the sky (at 30 minutes after sunset) in mid-January 2017, when it is seen at an altitude of 38 towards the West-South-west (WSW). The duration column shows that the planet is viewable for a little over 3 hours after sunset.

Northern Hemisphere Latitudes

Table showing direction & altitude (30 minutes after local sunset) and visibility duration of Venus for Northern hemisphere latitudes for the 2016-17 evening apparition (Copyright Martin J Powell 2016)

Direction & Altitude (30 minutes after local sunset) and Visibility Duration of Venus for Northern hemisphere latitudes and the Equator for the evening apparition of 2016-17. To find your latitude, visit the Heavens Above website, select your country and enter the name of your nearest town or city using the 'Town Search' facility.

The table column headings are as follows:

    Dir = compass direction of Venus,

    Alt = angular altitude (elevation) of Venus (degrees above the horizon; a negative value of Alt means Venus is below the horizon).

    Dur = the approximate duration of visibility of Venus after local sunset (in hrs:mins). An italicised duration means that Venus is seen under twilight conditions through to its setting, i.e. it is not seen against a truly dark sky (twilight in this case refers to nautical twilight, which ends when the Sun is more than 12 below the horizon). A hyphen (-) indicates that Venus sets in daylight.

Note that the directions and altitudes refer to the planet's position at 30 minutes after local sunset. To find the time of local sunset at your own location, select your country/town from the drop-down menu at the Time and Date.com website. The approximate time at which Venus sets can be found by adding the visibility duration on a particular date (column Dur) to the time of local sunset on the same date. To find the direction in which Venus sets on any given date for a particular latitude, note down the constellation in which the planet is located on the required date (column headed Con) then find its setting direction for your latitude in the Rise-Set direction table.

Southern Hemisphere Latitudes

Table showing direction & altitude (30 minutes after local sunset) and visibility duration of Venus for Southern hemisphere latitudes for the 2016-17 evening apparition (Copyright Martin J Powell 2016)

Direction & Altitude (30 minutes after local sunset) and Visibility Duration of Venus for Southern hemisphere latitudes and the Equator for the evening apparition of 2016-17. The column headings are described under the Northern hemisphere table above.

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Direction & Altitude Diagrams (Horizon Diagrams) for the 2016-17 Evening Apparition

The following diagrams show an observer's Western horizon (from due South to due North) for latitudes of 55 North (a high-Northern latitude), 35 North (mid-Northern), the Equator and 30 South (mid-Southern). The path of Venus is plotted in the sky at 30 minutes after local sunset throughout the 2016-17 evening apparition with the planet's direction and altitude marked along the horizontal and vertical axes, respectively. Essentially, these diagrams show the same information as in the above look-up tables, but in an illustrative format, for the Equator and three intermediate latitudes.

For higher accuracy, the azimuth (the bearing measured clockwise from True North) is also shown along the direction axis. For each of the latitudes shown, the direction and altitude of Venus after sunset can be estimated for any part of the 2016-17 evening apparition by positioning your pointing device over each image, when an overlay grid will appear, marked at 10 intervals; the values can then be read off accordingly.

 

Path of Venus in the evening sky during 2016-17, seen from latitude 55 North (Copyright Martin J Powell 2016)

The Path of Venus in the Evening Sky (plotted for 30 mins after sunset) during 2016-17 for an observer at latitude 55 North.

Path of Venus in the evening sky during 2016-17, seen from latitude 35 North (Copyright Martin J Powell 2016)

The Path of Venus in the Evening Sky (plotted for 30 mins after sunset) during 2016-17 for an observer at latitude 35 North.

Path of Venus in the evening sky during 2016-17, seen from the Equator (Copyright Martin J Powell 2016)

The Path of Venus in the Evening Sky (plotted for 30 mins after sunset) during 2016-17 for an observer at the Equator (latitude 0).

Path of Venus in the evening sky during 2016-17, seen from latitude 30 South (Copyright Martin J Powell 2016)

The Path of Venus in the Evening Sky (plotted for 30 mins after sunset) during 2016-17 for an observer at latitude 30 South.

Paths of Venus in the Evening Sky (30 mins after sunset) for the 2016-17 evening apparition, as seen by observers at latitudes 55 North, 35 North, the Equator and 30 South. The letters GE refer to the planet's greatest elongation (followed in brackets by its angular distance from the Sun) and the letters GB refer to the planet's greatest brilliance point (followed in brackets by its apparent magnitude).

The azimuth (Az, along the bottom of each diagram) is the bearing measured clockwise from True North (where 0 = North, 90 = East, 180 = South, etc.). The altitude (Alt) is the angle measured vertically from the local horizon (the horizon itself is 0). Azimuth and altitude are co-ordinates which are used for high-accuracy tracking of objects across the sky; in astronomy it is mainly used for setting telescopes which are fitted with altazimuth mounts.

To determine the planet's position in the sky with higher accuracy, move your pointing device over each image (or click on the picture) to see an overlay grid marked at 10 intervals in azimuth and altitude (the dates are removed for clarity). For example, at latitude 35 North on February 1st 2017, at 30 minutes after sunset, Venus is found at azimuth = 240 (i.e. in the WSW) and altitude = 37.

Although the dates indicated in the above diagrams refer specifically to the period 2016-17, Venus has an 8-year cycle of apparitions such that its position in the evening sky in 2016-17 will repeat very closely in the evening sky of 2024-25. The author refers to this particular evening apparition as Apparition H1; for more details, see the accompanying article describing The Venus 8-year Cycle.

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Naked-eye Venus: Apparitions, Conjunctions and Elongations, 2010-2020

The Naked-eye appearance of Venus

Naked Eye Planet Index

Planetary Movements through the Zodiac

 

Mercury

Venus 

Mars

Jupiter

Saturn

Uranus

Neptune

Pluto


 

Credits

 


Copyright  Martin J Powell  June 2016


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