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Daytime Venus

Now that winter’s dark nights are far behind us, and as astronomers begin to pack their scopes away until the autumn, it’s worthwhile knowing a few daytime observing targets, and none is more elusive than a daytime sighting of Venus.

That’s right, at midday over the next few days, you can see Venus in the brilliant blue sky, assuming you have the patience (and no clouds).

Venus is the only thing other than the Moon to be visible to the naked eye against the blue daytime sky, and it really does feel quite bizarre to be looking at a bright “star” in the daytime sky.

Venus is just to the left of the Sun, and when the Sun is at it’s highest point due south it wil be around 30° to the left, at the same height above the horizon as the Sun. The crescent Moon will be further to the left. If you can see the Moon, then Venus is about 1/3 of the distance from it to the Sun. You will probably have to stand and scan the sky for some time before you see it – it certainly won’t be very obvious, but it is there.

Venus in the daytime sky - screen capture from Starwalk for the iPhone

Venus in the daytime sky - screen capture from Starwalk for the iPhone

This picture shows what you can expect to see, but please note that the stars won’t be visible – the Starwalk app for the iPhone shows what stars are up even in the daytime, when they’re not visible.

Please also note that the Sun is in Taurus, so if you were born today that would be your starsign. But of course astrology is a load of bull.

  1. May 16, 2010 at 20:33

    The only meaningful and worthwhile to say about spotting Venus during daylight hours is sw33t. Time to begin (safely) sungazing.

  2. Alan
    May 18, 2010 at 20:02

    Nice picture of Venus and the Moon

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