Venus and Spica poke out from the treetops this morning during dawn. This photo was taken about 5:45 a.m. The two were less than 1.5° apart. Bob King
If you head outside when the dawn light just begins to swell and look low in the eastern sky you’ll immediately notice a pair of bright objects. The “big” one is Venus, and sitting on top of it is the star Spica, Virgo’s brightest. They’ve been closing in on one another for days. Normally, the a planet and star approach one another, pass and separate, but not this time. Instead, we’ll see Venus and Spica stick together at least through Nov. 18.
As Venus cycles around the sun very 225 days, it passes between the Earth and sun in inferior conjunction and on the opposite side of the sun in superior conjunction. During this time, the changing angle the planet makes with the sun causes it show phases just like the moon. At inferior conjunction, it’s closest and moves fastest. Bob King
So what’s going on? You’ll recall that Venus is fresh to the morning sky after passing between the Earth and sun on October 26. Venus is the faster planet because ...