Venus appears as the bright Evening Star in the west during late 2022 until near summer’s midpoint. This chart shows the setting time of the planet compared to other stars and planets.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
On the chart above, the setting time interval after sunset is graphed for Venus (the green line) during the apparition. The setting time interval is the difference between the time the sun sets and Venus sets. (It is simply Venus set time minus sunset time.) Data is from the U.S. Naval Observatory for Chicago, Illinois.
The activity occurs in the western sky after sunset. The setting intervals are displayed for bright stars (Aldebaran, Pollux, Regulus, Spica, and Antares) that are near the ecliptic as well as the bright planets (Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn). The moon’s setting time interval is displayed with circles.
Mars rises circles, along with Saturn rises and Jupiter rises, occur in the eastern sky. These rising time intervals occur relative to sunset as well. When Mars rises at sunset, the planet is at opposition. Jupiter and Saturn do not appear at opposition during this Venusian apparition. The three phases of twilight are indicated for the period.
When the Venus setting line crosses another celestial object’s setting lines, they set at the same time. Two objects with the same setting time can be several degrees apart in the sky. The lines only display time intervals. Conjunctions occur near the simultaneous setting dates. Conjunction dates are marked with white boxes. For the purposes, here conjunctions are noted when the two objects have the same celestial longitude or they are closest when observed from Chicago.
Two quasi-conjunctions occur with Venus. These events occur when Venus does not pass the object of interest, but it moves within 5.0°. The events are marked with white boxes with asterisks.
Greatest elongations of Venus and Mercury are shown with yellow triangles and labelled “GE.” The midpoint for Venus’ period of greatest brightness is marked with a yellow triangle and the letters “GB.”
Interesting evening events are indicated with other objects besides Venus. Events with the moon, other planets, and stars during this Venusian apparitions are noted as well.
In an accompanying article, monthly outlooks are provided along with charts showing interesting events.
- 2023, October 18: Moon-Antares Conjunction, Bright PlanetsOctober 18, 2023: The moon is near Antares after sunset. Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are in the sky during the nighttime hours.
- 2023, October 17: Scorpion MoonOctober 17, 2023: The crescent moon is with Scorpius during evening twilight. Venus and Jupiter gleam from the predawn sky.
- 2023, October 16: Venus in Starry ConjunctionOctober 16, 2023: Venus passes a star in Leo before sunrise. A crescent moon is low in the western sky during evening twilight.
- 2023, October 16-22: Celestial Events for the WeekOctober 16-22, 2023: The moon returns to the evening sky. Venus steps eastward in front of Leo, and a meteor shower is visible.
- 2023, October 15: Three Bright PlanetsOctober 15, 2023: Brilliant Venus and Jupiter are visible before sunrise. Saturn is above the southeast horizon after sundown.