Venus at superior solar conjunction

2018 Jan 9

Dominic Ford – originally published on In-The-Sky.org

From our vantage point on the Earth, Venus will appear very close to the Sun in the sky as it passes around the far side of the solar system from the Earth.

At closest approach, Venus and the Sun will appear at a separation of only 0°46', making Venus totally unobservable for several weeks while it is lost in the Sun’s glare.

Venus will also pass apogee – the time when it is most distant from the Earth – within a few days of the same time, since it will lie exactly opposite to the Earth in the Solar System. It will move to a distance of 1.71 AU from the Earth, making it appear small and very distant. If it could be observed, it would measure 9.8 arcsec in diameter, whilst appearing completely illuminated.

Venus’s reaching superior conjunction marks the end of its apparition in the morning sky and its transition to become an evening object over the next few weeks.

The exact position of Venus at the moment it passes solar conjunction will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
Venus 19h21m20s -22°53' Sagittarius 9.8"
Sun 19h20m -22°08' Sagittarius 32'31"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.


The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of In-The-Sky.org

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