Venus has emerged out of the post-sunset misty mire to be seen quickly after sundown as dazzling night star. There’s the bonus too of Jupiter, the king of the planets, mendacity round 20° above Venus. Hold an in depth eye on the pair on any clear early evenings because the pair are converging on the sky for a really particular coming collectively on the finish of February into early March. That’s not the tip of the observing story for this month although, as Neptune, the distant ice-giant that’s the farthest-lying planet within the Photo voltaic System, additionally lies very near Venus.
It’s all the time a particular sight when Venus is within the night time sky, particularly when it stands excessive sufficient for city and metropolis dwellers to see and its brilliance is enhanced in opposition to an astronomically-dark sky, as is the case later this month.
The right way to observe
Venus shines brilliantly at near magnitude –4, simply surpassing the brightness of all night-time astronomical objects besides the Moon. By the tip of civil twilight at about 5.40pm GMT, when the Solar has dipped 6° beneath the horizon, the second planet lies 15° excessive over the west-southwestern horizon. Venus units at about 7.30pm. A small telescope can simply reveal Venus’ 89.7 per cent-illuminated gibbous disc.
Venus encounters distant Neptune on the early evenings of 14 and 15 February, when the pair are as shut as 54’ and 16’, respectively. On 22 February, a younger crescent moon lies between Venus and Jupiter, offering a unbelievable astro-imaging alternative.
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