Venus is presenting its apparition as the brilliant Evening Star in the western sky after sunset following its superior conjunction behind the Sun on 2016 JUN 06. For observers north of the tropics it will keep hugging the post-sunset horizon until well into autumn, before significant daily shifts upward during the holiday season.
Venus’ Greatest Eastern Elongation from the Sun of 47.1° will occur on 2017 JAN 12. Through a telescope around JAN 14 it will appear in dichotomy, i.e. 50% illuminated like a Half Moon. Prior to that it will appear 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 inferior conjunction between Earth and Sun on MAR 25.
Venus will appear near other bright planets and stars on the following dates: Antares 2016 OCT 26, Saturn OCT 29, Mars 2017 FEB 01, Mercury MAR 18.
The Moon will appear near Venus on 2016 OCT 03, NOV 02, DEC 03, 2017 JAN 01, JAN 31, FEB 28.
NOTE: Event dates in this article are for North American Central Time at those moments nearest to 30 minutes after sunset for Chicago.