Viewing Venus

In September 2010, Venus will shine brilliantly in the western sky. Its size and phase will change dramatically as it `catches up' with the Earth.

This table provides simulated images and other data for Venus every Tuesday it is visible. Each date links to an image showing how Venus will look that day. The altitude column gives the angle between Venus and the horizon as seen from Honolulu at 19:00 HT (7:00 pm); each number is also a link to a map of the sky. Venus will be setting in the west; to get the best views of the planet, we need to observe it as early in the evening as possible. The diameter column gives the apparent diameter of the planet; note the rapid increase in size as Venus approaches the Earth. Finally, the phase column gives the angle between our line of sight toward Venus and the direction of sunlight falling on the planet. At the start of the semester, Venus is half-full, but a month later it will be a thin crescent.

Date Altitude
24-Aug-2010 28.1 25.9 94.7
31-Aug-2010 25.3 28.3 99.5
07-Sep-2010 22.4 31.2 104.8
14-Sep-2010 19.1 34.6 110.7
21-Sep-2010 15.5 38.6 117.5
28-Sep-2010 11.2 43.2 125.4
05-Oct-2010 6.1 48.8 134.8


Joshua E. Barnes      (barnes at
Updated: 24 October 2010
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