2020, June 3: Venus at Inferior Conjunction

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2012, June 5: Venus passes between Earth and the sun. It was observed to make a rare solar transit. The dark circle in front of the sun is the planet Venus.  This occurred at the inferior conjunction of Venus.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

At inferior conjunction, faster moving Venus moves between Earth and the sun. It rapidly moves into the morning sky. Because Venus’ orbit is tilted slightly compared to the sun, it does not pass directly in front of the sun. At this inferior conjunction, Venus is about 0.5° above the sun. In 2012, Venus passed precisely between the earth and sun as is seen in the image above. The dark circle is the planet Venus.

2020, June 3: Venus passes between Earth and Sun – inferior conjunction – and begins to move into the morning sky when it rises before sunrise.

At this inferior conjunction on June 3, 2020, Venus is 26.8 million miles away; that’s about 111 times farther away than the moon. At this time, Venus is 67 million miles from the sun, about at its average solar distance. When we see the sun in the south, our clocks read noon. The opposite direction is midnight. We do not see the sun in the sky at midnight, and Venus does not appear in that direction.

The line then divides the morning sky from the evening sky. Venus is moving toward the morning section of the diagram as it revolves around the sun faster than Earth. It passes our planet and moves away.

See more about Venus as a Morning Star in 2020-2021.



Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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