Keep Your Eye on Venus Tonight!

January 29, 2019
Venus

Depiction of Venus and the crescent Moon, as seen from mid-latitude northern locations, just after sunset on June 16, 2018.

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Keep your eye on Venus tonight! Our wonderful Evening Star Apparition is at its best in years. Here’s how to enjoy Venus through the summer! Get started this weekend (June 15–16, 2018), as Venus hovers near the crescent Moon in the beautiful twilight sky.

Venus will shine brilliantly in the northwest the first few hours after sunset. It’s not high up, but it’s not too low, either, so it easily shines above houses and hills. Beautiful! The brightest of planets will periodically meet the Moon again, and various stars, like the blue Spica the final evening of August.  

It’s also in a weird place. Venus has been visiting the most northerly part of the zodiac, which places it strikingly to the right of due west. But keep watching it.

During the next three months, from now through September, it will visibly shift to the left. Each evening at nightfall, it will still hover at about the same height. But it will continually migrate south, or leftward, as it marches from its present home in Gemini through Cancer, Leo, Virgo and into Libra. These adventures will be fun to watch.

Venus will continually get brighter too, until by late summer it will be dazzling enough to cast shadows!

So, watch Venus on Friday and Saturday night after sunset (June 15 and 16) as the young moon sweeps past the “evening star” in the west.

Throughout June, Venus is very prominent in the twilight sky as it attains its highest altitude in mid-northern latitudes. Venus sets roughly 2 ½ hours after the Sun throughout the month.

It will then periodically again meet the Moon, and various stars, like the blue Spica the final evening of August.  

This is a wonderful Evening Star Apparition, the best in years. Enjoy it each clear evening!

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