Venus briefly shines as the brilliant Evening Star in the western sky after sunset, following its superior conjunction behind the Sun on 2018 JAN 08.
By the standard of 30 minutes after sunset for Chicago, Venus will achieve its highest altitude of 21.3° on 2018 JUN 02. Through a telescope during the nights around AUG 14 it will appear near dichotomy, i.e. 50% illuminated like a Half Moon. Prior to that it will appear gibbous and afterward as a crescent. Greatest Eastern Elongation from the Sun of 45.9° will occur on AUG 17. Greatest brilliance at magnitude -4.6 is expected around SEP 21. Venus will begin apparent retrograde motion in right ascension on OCT 04. It will fall to inferior conjunction between Earth and Sun on OCT 26.
Venus will appear near other bright planets and stars on the following dates: Mercury 2018 MAR 03, Mercury MAR 18, Alcyone (Pleiades) APR 24, Aldebaran MAY 02, Elnath MAY 13, Castor JUN 05, Pollux JUN 07, Regulus JUL 09, Spica AUG 31 & Mercury OCT 15.
The Moon will appear near Venus on 2018 MAR 18, APR 17, MAY 17, JUN 15, JUL 15, AUG 14, SEP 12 & OCT 10.
NOTE: Event dates in this article are for North American Central Time at those moments nearest to 30 minutes after sunset for Chicago.
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