With the exception of very specific areas of the Earth (and times of year), it is not possible to view the planet Venus at midnight.
In the article that follows, we’ll explain.
Is It Ever Possible To See Venus At Midnight? (Explained)
Introduction To Venus
Venus is the second planet from the sun.
Since the planets are in different positions in their respective orbits around the sun, the distance between Earth and Venus varies.
But at it’s closest, it is still 38 million miles away.
Despite its closeness, it is still in some ways quite the mystery to us.
Venus is sometimes called the “morning star” or “evening star.”
This is because, from Earth, it appears to be either the first or last “star” in the sky.
So, why is it not possible to view Venus at midnight?
The answer has to do with the way Venus orbits the sun, and how that affects its position in the sky.
Orbit Of Venus
Venus’s orbit is the second-closest to the sun of all the planets in the solar system.
Its orbit is also the most circular of any planet.
This means that, for much of the time, it is closer to the sun than Earth is.
When this is the case, Venus appears to move toward the sun during the night.
As a result, it is not visible in the night sky, and can only be seen just before or after sunrise.
However, at certain points in its orbit, Venus is actually further away from the sun than Earth is.
When this happens, it appears to move away from the sun during the night.
As a result, it can be seen in the night sky.
Amateur astronomers viewing the sky from the poles of the Earth (north and south) during certain times of year (such as the equinox) might have a better chance of getting a look at Venus closer to midnight than those in the lower 48 or near the equator.
Why Can’t Venus Be Seen When It is “Moving Toward The Sun”? (As described above)
Think about it practically.
Where is the sun in the evening?
The sun goes down, passes the border of the horizon, and cannot be seen by astronomers.
Venus follows it within a few hours, meaning it passes below the line of the horizon and cannot be seen because we cannot see through the Earth.
To conclude: Is Venus NEVER seen at midnight?
The answer is that it is potentially possible, but the opportunities to do so are extremely rare.
How To Identify Venus In The Night Sky
Even though it can be tricky to spot, Venus is the brightest object in the night sky (after the moon).
It is so bright because it is so close to the sun.
To spot Venus in the night sky, look for a very bright, glowing white object low on the horizon.
If you can’t see Venus, be patient as it moves into view and gets higher in the sky.
Other tips for spotting Venus in the night sky include checking it out on clear nights, with no moonlight and far away from city lights.
Finally, Venus is easiest to spot when it is highest in the sky, so try looking for it in the early morning or late evening.
Can Venus Be Seen During The Day?
Yes, Venus can be seen during the day, but it is much harder to spot.
It is usually only visible for a short time after sunrise or before sunset.
Where Does Venus Rise?
Venus rises in the west right around sunset.
Then, Venus sets in the east around sunrise. This is opposite of the direction of the path of the Sun.
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