Venus concludes its spell as a brilliant evening star by diving into our evening twilight during May. At present it stands more than 30° high in the W at sunset and sinks to set in the NW at 01:00 BST. By the 31st, though, it is only 5° high in the NW at sunset and perhaps already lost from view as it tracks towards a rare transit across the solar disc on 6 June.Close to the star Elnath in Taurus and dimming a little from mag -4.5 to -3.9 during the month, Venus swells from 38 to 57 arcsec as the illuminated portion of its disc falls from 26% to only 1%. Its dazzling crescent should be obvious through binoculars and a few keen-sighted people might even glimpse it with the unaided eye. Catch it 5° above-right of the 3% sunlit Moon on the 22nd and to the right of...
- Astronomers get best view yet of infant stars at feeding timeFri, 10 Oct 2008, 10:37:34 EDT
- Beta Pictoris planet finally imaged?Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 9:45:12 EST
- Hubble to use moon as mirror to see Venus transitFri, 4 May 2012, 16:04:19 EDT
- Born in beauty: Proplyds in the Orion NebulaMon, 14 Dec 2009, 11:43:45 EST
- Astronomers identify thick disc of older stars in nearby Andromeda galaxyTue, 15 Feb 2011, 16:04:26 EST