Don't Miss Venus in the Evening Sky This Month

January 11, 2017
Planet Venus Shines Bright

Don’t miss beautiful planet Venus dazzling in the evening sky this month. It’s that bright “star” you see just after sunset—the third-brightest object after the Sun and Moon.

Let’s be Venus groupies! 

Centuries ago, a number of cultures like the Maya pretty much worshiped Venus.  As the evening star each gets maximally prominent every 19 months, sure enough, the Maya had a 19 month calendar. 

Well, these evenings just after sunset Venus hovers in the west so brilliantly it’s impossible to overlook.  It’s even a major source of UFO reports. Indeed, when Jimmy Carter was governor of Georgia, he reported seeing a UFO that proved to be Venus. So let’s keep an eye on it.

Night after night, the evening star gets a little higher, a little brighter, and shifts its position to the right.  Up until now it has hovered to the upper left of sunset and set in the west-southwest.  But it is moving to position itself directly above the sunset point, and set more perfectly due west. 

Whether these changes are fascinating or overlooked depends on how much you love sky gazing.  If you’re really into it, mark the final day of January and then February on your calendar, when Venus will form a triangle with the Moon and Mars.

But don’t wait until March.  That’s when Venus will vanish and not be a high-up, prominent evening star again until 2020. This is a limited-time offer. And the price is right.

About This Blog

Welcome to “This Week’s Amazing Sky,” the Almanac’s hub for everything stargazing and astronomy. Bob Berman, longtime and famous astronomer for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, will help bring alive the wonders of our universe. From the beautiful stars and planets to magical auroras and eclipses, he covers everything under the Sun (and Moon)! Bob, the world’s mostly widely read astronomer, also has a new weekly podcast, Astounding Universe