Venus as an Evening Star, 2013


PhasesVenus Image Credit

Venus has phases as seen through a telescope as
seen in the image above.

After a brilliant performance in the morning sky during the 2012, Venus appears as an Evening Star in the spring of 2013.  On March 28, 2013, Venus passes  superior conjunction on the far side of its orbit behind the sun.


Earth, Sun, and Venus are in a line with the sun in the middle, as shown in the chart above.  Venus then reappears in the western evening sky.  By April’s end Venus is setting about 45 minutes after the sun, appearing as a bright star near the western horizon as the sky darkens. venus_2013 The chart above shows the difference between the times of sunset and Venus setting from data from the U.S. Naval Observatory.  (Click the graph to see it larger.) By the end of May, Venus sets nearly 80 minutes after the sun, making its way into a darker sky before it sets. The following events mark Venus’ appearance in the evening sky for the rest of 2013 until it passes inferior conjunction on January 11, 2014 and moves into the morning sky. All events are in the western evening sky:


  • May 25, 2013, Mercury and Venus  (The sky was cloudy on May 25.  The image above shows the grouping of planets on May 26, 2013.  (Click the image to see it larger.)
  • May 28, 2013, Jupiter and Venus
  • June 4, 2013, Venus appears in front of the star cluster M35
  • June 20, 2013, Mercury and Venus
  • June 23, 2013, Venus passes the star Pollux
  • July 3, 2013,  Venus passes the Beehive star cluster
  • July 22, 2013,  Venus passes Regulus

DSC09490                                                                                Venus and Regulus on July 23, 2013.

(Click the image to see it larger.)

  • September 5, 2013, Venus passes Spica


  • September 20, 2013, Saturn and Venus


  • September 23, 2013, Venus passes Zubenelgenubi


  • October 16, 2013, Venus passes Antares



  • November 1, 2013,  Venus has its greatest separation from the sun.



  • December 6, 2013, Venus has its greatest brightness of this evening appearance.


  • January 11, 2014, Venus passes between Earth and Sun (inferior conjunction.)

These events will be chronicled with photos of the sky.  Check back for photographic updates starting in April 2013.

On its monthly journey, the moon is near Venus on the following dates in the western evening sky.

  • April 11 and April 12, 2013 (in bright twilight)
  • May 10, 2013


On May 11, 2013, Venus appears in western sky just after sunset along with the moon and Jupiter.  (Click the image to see it larger.)

  • June 10, 2013

DSC09000                                                                      The moon and Venus on June 11, 2013 from Arlington, VA

  • July 10, 2013
  • August 9, 2013
  • September 8, 2013
  • October 8, 2013
  • November 6, 2013
  • December 5, 2013DSC00252
  • January 2, 2013 (in bright twilight)



The chart above shows Venus’ setting position in the western sky.  (Click the image to see it larger.)   The directions are represented by 180 degrees, south; 270 degrees, west.  Venus sets north of west from the time it appears in the evening sky until mid-August 2013.  It sets farthest north of west during June.  From mid-August until it disappears back into bright, it sets south of west, reaching its most southern setting point during the first week of November.

Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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5 replies

  1. What distance will Venus be from Earth on the 16th Dec 2013?

  2. It’s not a reply, it’s a new question.
    Today Nov 03 at 6:10 PM I observed Venus through my Celestron Omni 120 Refractor and for the first time noticed something like half-phase (visually it was even like an eclipse but it’s impossible, so I believe it was a half-phase). I’m still not sure whether it is possible to observe Venus phases with my telescope because I didn’t see them never before though observed Venus quite often. Could you comments on this, please.
    Thank you,

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