2018: Venus at its Brightest Late November


2018, November 10, Venus is 2 degrees to the lower left of Spica.

  • November 24: Now rising in the southeast over 3 hours before the sun, brilliant Venus starts its stage of greatest brightness. For the next 11 days it displays its greatest visual intensity. It is important to note that this is not a singular event, but the duration of this greatest brightness occurs across several mornings. More formally, Venus is near its greatest illuminated extent, defined as a geometrical configuration when Venus has an elongation of 40° – midway between inferior conjunction and greatest elongation. This occurs December 1, when Venus’ illuminated portion covers more area of the sky than any other time during its apparition. (For a more technical explanation of greatest illuminated extent, see https://tinyurl.com/venus-greatest-illuminated.) For our description, greatest brilliancy occurs during a 11-day period when Venus displays its greatest visual brightness. Its brightness measured with light-sensitive equipment may slightly change, but our eyes cannot perceive that minute difference.

More about the appearance of Venus as a Morning Star:  Venus in the Morning Sky, 2018-2019

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