Dazzling Venus

1/13th sec, f/8, ISO800
Canon 60D:
Camera lens
50mm Sigma lens
Image date:

Once again the planet Venus has returned to our evening sky after spending nine and a half months in the morning sky. It’s the brightest object in the night sky after the Moon – and it looks dazzling! It’s always a pleasure to watch this jewel of a planet climb slowly higher in the Western sunset each night, after a long absence.

Question: Why do I only see Venus in the West after sunset?


  1. Venus is either in the East before sunrise or the West after sunset;
  2. I don’t get up early enough to see Venus before sunrise;
  3. Venus is closer to the Sun than we are. It’s orbit is smaller than the Earth’s orbit and Venus never ventures further than about 47Β° either side of the Sun, as viewed from Earth;
  4. When Venus is in the Western sky, it sets up to about 3 hours after the Sun does, remaining visible in the sky until it sets too;
  5. When Venus is in the Eastern sky, it rises up to about 3 hours before the Sun does, remaining visible in the sky until the Sun rises too.

Thanks for reading πŸ™ƒ

Images Β© Roger Powell

I’m one of the founder members of Macarthur Astronomical Society and current webmaster.


    1. Yes, it is a better angle. I’ve not often thought much about this but we know the planets follow the ecliptic. Obviously in the daytime the ecliptic is lowest in winter, highest in summer.

      It’s the opposite at night. The ecliptic is highest in winter, shallowest in summer. Wherever you are.



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