|Designation: Planet Venus|
|Visual magnitude: -4.1|
|Apparent size: 28.7 arc-seconds.|
|Diameter: 12103 km (95% of Earth dia)|
|Distance: 87 million km|
|Exposure: 1 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250 with 50mm lens on Canon 60D camera & tripod|
Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky (after the Moon) and it will be at its brightest during April this year. In May it will start fading as it appears lower in the evening sky.
It’s always a joy to watch Venus in its eternal motion, as it first slowly rises in the West over several months and then quickly drops in the evening sky as it overtakes us. It’s a reminder of the predictability and permanence of the Solar System, compared to the fragility and transitory nature of humankind.
So every nineteen months Venus moves into our evening sky, stays for about nine and a half months and then quickly disappears below our evening horizon, only to appear in the morning sky soon after, for the next nine and a half months. Regular as clockwork.
Venus is a cloudy planet – even more cloudy than Sydney has been recently – and the phase shown in this beautiful Hubble image is fairly close to what you would see this month. Yes, Venus phases are very similar to the Moon.
Thanks for reading!