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Astro Bob

First Peek At Venus

22 Oct 2019, 15:34 UTC
First Peek At Venus
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Venus shines between layers of clouds this past weekend about 15 minutes after sunset. The planet is now visible at dusk low in the southwestern sky. The planet gets a little bit easier to see each day as it slowly climbs upward from the sun in the coming weeks. Bob King
It’s one thing to talk about going out to see something and another to see it. Occasionally I’ll write about something in the sky I know is happening but I’ve yet to see. You may remember a couple weeks back we talked about the return of Venus to the evening. Although it’s the brightest planet Venusstarts each new evening cycle demurely as if reluctant to return.
For weeks the planet hovers near the sunset horizon and sets early. That means it’s only visible for a brief interval after sunset in a bright, twilit sky low to the horizon. Since the horizon is often obscured by haze or cloud, and contrast between Venus and the bright sky is minimal, the planet can be very difficult to spot. You have to give it time to climb up and away from the sun.
This map is a good simulation of Venus’s appearance ...

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