After its inferior conjunction, brilliant morning star Venus appears in the morning sky, low in the east-northeast.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
After its inferior conjunction, Venus pops into the morning sky. It rises five minutes earlier each morning and it is visible low in the east-northeast. Be sure to view it with the moon on June 19. Continue to watch it as it appears higher in the sky at the same time each morning and Aldebaran and the Hyades appear through the morning twilight. At month’s end it begins an interval of its greatest brightness. Here’s what to look for:
- June 19: Forty-five minutes before sunrise, the old moon (27.8d, 4%), about 4° up in the east-northeast, is 1.0° to the lower left of Venus. Find a clear horizon to view the pair.
- June 21: The planet continues to rise earlier. On this morning, Venus rises at Nautical Twilight, when the sun is 12° below the horizon. At this time sky is distinguishable from the ground. Forty-five minutes before sunrise, the planet is about 4° up in the east-northeast.
- June 26: Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Venus is about 8° up in the east-northeast. This brilliant planet is 4.9° to the upper right of Aldebaran and 9.2° below Alcyone, the brightest star in the Pleiades star cluster. A binocular helps seeing the star cluster and Aldebaran.
- June 29: During the next 18 mornings, Venus displays its greatest brightness. While the photometric brightness increases, your eye likely does not see any difference in the visual intensity of the planet. Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Venus – over 10° in altitude in the east-northeast – is 4.6° to the upper right of Aldebaran. Use a binocular to see the star. Four naked eye planets – Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter – are scattered across the sky along 131° of the ecliptic. Dimmer Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are in the sky between Venus and Jupiter as well.
Read more about Venus as a Morning Star during 2020-2021.