Venus, February 2014

Venus reaches its point of greatest brilliancy on February 15 when its increasing distance and the broadening width of its crescent reach an optimum combination.
Credit: Starry Night Software

PHOENIX — One of the more amazing sites in our sky is the planet Venus. At its best, Venus is brighter than all other celestial objects except the sun and moon. Right now, the brilliant planet is so bright that you can actually see it in the daytime, if you know where to look.

Venus doesn’t make any visible light of its own. It shines by reflecting sunlight. Right now, Venus is well up in the morning sky before sunrise, and any time this week, if the sky is clear, you’ll have no trouble finding it. Just go out, look east. Venus will be the brightest thing you see. If you stretch your arms out, this “morning star” will be about two fists above the horizon as the sky begins to lighten.

By the time the sun rises, Venus will be reduced to a pale pinprick of light. The trick to seeing it during the day is to prepare. Here’s what you do:

via Rare Sight: See Venus During the Day (Photo) |