Solar System Phenomena — Venus in 2022

The path of Venus against the background stars in 2022

The upper 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 and are scaled according to apparent magnitude. The faint paths before the first circle and after the last circle represent the planet's positions in December of last year and January of next. 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 near the constellation of Sagittarius, located about one quarter of the way in from the left side of the chart.

The lower charts show how the appearance of Venus changes over the year. Below each image is listed the date, the apparent magnitude, the apparent diameter of the disk (in arc-seconds), the geocentric distance (in au), the elongation from the Sun (in degrees) and the percentage of the disk which is illuminated. Like the Moon, Venus exhibits a complete range of phases, from new to crescent to gibbous to full and back again. Unlike the Moon, however, Venus takes over a year to complete this phase cycle. Note how Venus is at its brightest during its crescent phase, when it is relatively close to the Earth.

Venus opens the year in low in the west at sunset, soon disappearing below the horizon and reappearing in the morning skies for most of the year. This is an excellent apparition for equatorial and southern latitudes but very disappointing for observers much farther north. The evening star returns at the end of October. Venus is at its brightest in mid-February when it reaches magnitude −4.6.

09 Januaryinferior conjunction
23 Januaryperihelion
29 Januarystationary in right ascension: retrograde → direct
10 Februarymaximum magnitude −4.6
16 Februaryplanetary conjunction: 6.2° north of Mars
06 Marchplanetary conjunction: 4.5° north of Mars
07 MarchSagittariusCapricornus
20 Marchgreatest elongation west 46.6°
21 Marchdichotomy
23 MarchCapricornusAquarius
27 MarchAquariusCapricornus
28 Marchplanetary conjunction: 1.2° north of Saturn
03 AprilCapricornusAquarius
10 Aprildescending node
27 AprilAquariusPisces
planetary conjunction: 0.01° south of Neptune
30 Aprilplanetary conjunction: 0.2° south of Jupiter
08 MayPiscesCetus
12 MayCetusPisces
15 Mayaphelion
27 Maylunar occultation: 0.2° north of the Moon
31 MayPiscesAries
11 Juneplanetary conjunction: 1.5° north of Uranus
17 JuneAriesTaurus
26 June2.7° south of the Moon
16 JulyTaurusOrion
18 JulyOrionGemini
22 Julymaximum declination north
02 Augustascending node
10 AugustGeminiCancer
17 August0.9° south of the open star cluster M44 (known as Praesepe or the Beehive Cluster)
26 AugustCancerLeo
04 Septemberperihelion
24 SeptemberLeoVirgo
25 September2.8° south of the Moon
26 Septemberplanetary conjunction: 3.2° north of Mercury
22 Octobersuperior conjunction
25 Octoberlunar occultation: 0.004° north of the Moon
29 OctoberVirgoLibra
17 NovemberLibraScorpius
21 Novemberdescending node
planetary conjunction: 1.3° north of Mercury
22 NovemberScorpiusOphiuchus
24 November2.3° north of the Moon
07 DecemberOphiuchusSagittarius
13 Decembermaximum declination south
26 Decemberaphelion
29 Decemberplanetary conjunction: 1.4° south of Mercury


The dates, times and circumstances of all planetary and lunar phenomena were calculated from the JPL DE406 solar system ephemeris using the same rigorous methods that are employed in the compilation of publications such as The Astronomical Almanac. Dates of dichotomy are taken from 'Theoretical Dichotomy of Venus, 2000–2040', Jean Meeus, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 110 (2), 83 (April 2000).