View Full Version : Venus Enters Eastern Sky as the Morning Star

2010-Nov-02, 03:56 PM
Venus has ended its recent apparition as an evening star and will soon be popping up into the eastern sky as the brilliant morning star following its inferior conjunction between the Earth and Sun on 2010 OCT 28. Venus is far and away the brightest celestial object other than the Sun and Moon, and will likely again inspire numerous 911 UFO reports when it seems to suddenly reappear in the early November predawn sky.

I’ve created several graphics related to the motions of Venus, including one illustrating its position in the eastern sky throughout the entire current morning apparition. They can be seen by going to http://www.curtrenz.com/astronomical and then clicking the link to the Inferior Planets.

All dates here are based on North American Central Time. Venus currently appears to be moving retrograde but will resume apparent direct motion on 2010 NOV 18. Its greatest brilliance at magnitude -4.7 is expected around DEC 04. For Chicagoland observers the planet will achieve its greatest altitude at 30 minutes before sunrise on DEC 16 at 29.0. It will reach its greatest western elongation from the Sun of 47.0 on 2011 JAN 08. About that same date Venus should achieve dichotomy, i.e. 50% illuminated like a Half Moon. Before then it will telescopically appear as a crescent and afterward gibbous. It will eventually fall to superior conjunction behind the Sun on AUG 16.

The dates that the 2010/11 waning crescent Moon will appear in the vicinity of Venus will be NOV 05, DEC 02, DEC 31, JAN 29, FEB 28, MAR 31, APR 30, MAY 30 and JUN 30. On that final date the Moon will occult Venus for observers in portions of Africa and Eurasia.

Mercury will pass 1.4 south of Venus on both 2011 MAY 07 & 18. Venus will pass 0.6 south of Jupiter on MAY 11 and 1.0 south of Mars on MAY 23.

Venus will pass 3.8 north of Spica on 2010 NOV 16, 7.9 north of Antares on 2011 JAN 17, 5.1 south of Alcyone (brightest Pleiad) on JUN 09, 4.7 north of Aldebaran on JUN 17, 5.7 south of Elnath on JUN 28 and 6.0 south of Pollux on JUL 23

Photos and descriptions of brilliant Venus during its current morning apparition would be welcome additions to this thread.