The Solar System

The Inner Solar System

How does Venus show phases?

Through a small telescope, it is possible to see Venus undergo phases, just like the Moon does. This occurs because, from our point of view on Earth, we see only the parts of Venus that are illuminated by sunlight at any given time. Unlike the Moon, though, Venus orbits the Sun rather than Earth; so it is larger to our view in its crescent phase than in its full phase, and thus brighter as well.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Astronomy Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App