2020, June 29 – July 17: Morning Star Venus Brightest

2020, July 17: The crescent moon, Brilliant Venus, and Aldebaran shine from the eastern during early morning twilight.

Morning Star Venus shines at its brightest June 29 – July 17, 2020.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

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Read our feature article about Venus as Morning Star, 2020-2021.

Venus begins its interval of greatest brightness on June 29.  To our eyes, the planet shines at its maximum brightness through July 17.  While its brightness increases minutely during the next several mornings, Venus seems to shine with constant intensity to our eyes during this time.

The chart above shows Venus on July 8, the mid-point of its interval of greatest brightness.  Venus is in the middle of the Hyades star cluster to the upper right of the star Aldebaran. The Pleiades star cluster appears above Venus.  During July, Venus moves through Taurus.

2020, July 8: At the mid-point of its greatest brightness, Venus is 39° from the sun. Through a telescope, Venus is a crescent phase.

This brightness interval occurs when the planet is relatively close to our planet.  Geometrically, Venus is 39° from the sun.  Through a telescope, the planet displays at crescent phase that is about 25% illuminated.  The second chart shows the orbital relationship of Venus and Earth compared to the sun on July 8.  The result of these angular distances is that Venus is incredibly bright in our sky.

Read our feature article about Venus as Morning Star, 2020-2021.


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