The Solar System

The Inner Solar System

What does Venus look like from Earth?

Since Venus is closer to the Sun than to the Earth it is never up in the sky at midnight. Rather, Venus is visible in the sky either just after dark or just before sunrise, depending on the season. (This pattern of appearance prompted ancient astronomers to refer to Venus as the “evening star” or the “morning star.”) At its brightest, Venus is the object in the night sky most likely to be mistaken for an aircraft or a UFO.

Due to its proximity to Earth, and to the highly reflective cloud layers in its atmosphere, Venus can look incredibly bright and beautiful in the sky. At its brightest, it is the third brightest object in the sky, after the Sun and the Moon. Like the Moon, Venus is often visible in the daytime, as long as one knows where to look. It is no wonder that Venus is named for the Roman goddess of love and beauty.


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