Your last chance to see Venus for the next few weeks

Your last chance to see Venus for the next few weeks

Your last chance to see Venus for the next few weeks

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
May 26 2012 7:00 AM

Your last chance to see Venus for the next few weeks

As I usually do when I go outside at twilight, I glanced over to the west to look for Venus... and it was much lower toward the horizon than I was expecting. I shouldn't have been surprised; in two weeks it's due for a close encounter with the Sun. On June 5/6, it'll pass directly between us and the Sun in an event called a transit. I'll have more info on that later, though you can read up about it at the Transit of Venus website.

I set up my binoculars and even with such low power, Venus was an obvious crescent! I held my phone up to the eyepiece and took this shot:

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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It's out of focus a bit, but you can see the phase. As Venus races past the Earth in its orbit, it gets a bit closer to us but presents a thinner crescent every day. It's moving so quickly now that you only really have a few more days to take a look before it's too close to the Sun to see comfortably. And then on June 5th it'll look a lot different!



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