Venus is presenting its apparition as the brilliant Evening Star in the southwestern sky after sunset following its superior conjunction behind the Sun on 2016 JUN 06.
Venus’ Greatest Eastern Elongation from the Sun of 47.1° occurred on 2017 JAN 12. Through a telescope around JAN 14 it appeared in dichotomy, i.e. 50% illuminated like a Half Moon. Prior to that it appeared gibbous and afterward as a crescent. By the standard of 30 minutes after sunset for Chicago, Venus will achieve its highest altitude of 35.3° on FEB 01. It will commence apparent retrograde motion in right ascension on FEB 03. Greatest brilliance at magnitude -4.6 is expected around FEB 16. Venus will then fall to longitudinal inferior conjunction between Earth and Sun on MAR 25, which will also be the date of least angular separation from the Sun.
Inferior conjunction by right ascension will occur MAR 22-23 when it may be possible to see Venus as both a morning and evening star on the same date for several days. See the related preview chart linked above.
Venus will appear near other bright planets and stars on the following dates: Mars 2017 FEB 01, Mercury MAR 18.
The Moon will appear near Venus on 2017 JAN 31, FEB 28. There will be no lunar occultations of Venus during this apparition.
NOTE: Event dates in this article are for North American Central Time at those moments nearest to 30 minutes after sunset for Chicago.