Solar System Phenomena - Venus

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The chart shows the path of Venus across the background stars over the course of the year. Stars to magnitude +4.5 are shown with some fainter objects included to complete constellation patterns. The white circles represent the planet on the first day of the month (the thirteenth circle representing 1 January next year) and are scaled according to apparent magnitude. The faint path before the first circle and after the last circle represent the planet's positions in December of last year and January of next year. In general, the planet moves from right to left except when it's in retrograde and proceding in the opposite direction. As an inferior planet, Venus never strays far from the Sun so it always begins and ends the year in or around the constellation of Sagittarius, located about one quarter of the way in from the left side of the chart.

Venus remains too close to the Sun to observe for the first two months of the year, finally appearing low in the west as the evening star by March. This apparition initially favours observers in temperate northern latitudes although the bright planet eventually dominates the west for more southerly viewers. It passes close to Regulus in July and Spica two months later. Venus eventually loses altitude and is gone from view in October when it reaches inferior conjunction. It quickly reappears in November as the morning star where it remains for the rest of the year.

01 Januarymaximum declination south
09 Januarysuperior conjunction
17 JanuarySagittariusCapricornus
23 Januaryaphelion
08 FebruaryCapricornusAquarius
02 MarchAquariusPisces
05 March1.4° north of Mercury
12 MarchPiscesCetus
14 MarchCetusPisces
30 MarchPiscesAries
12 Aprilascending node
19 AprilAriesTaurus
15 Mayperihelion
19 MayTaurusGemini
22 Maymaximum declination north
12 JuneGeminiCancer
16 June2.0° north of the Moon
29 JuneCancerLeo
09 July1.1° north of Regulus
16 July1.6° south of the Moon
01 AugustLeoVirgo
descending node
17 Augustgreatest elongation east 45.9° (magnitude -4.3)
02 September1.4° south of Spica
05 Septemberaphelion
25 Septembermaximum magnitude -4.6
01 OctoberVirgoLibra
05 Octoberstationary - direct to retrograde
08 OctoberLibraVirgo
26 Octoberinferior conjunction
14 Novemberstationary - retrograde to direct
22 Novemberascending node
30 Novembermaximum magnitude -4.7
13 DecemberVirgoLibra
26 Decemberperihelion