LOOK UP! Venus shines brightest all week in the evening sky

This is the brightest the planet will appear all year, and you can see it in the western sky

Venus at its brightest throughout late April

ROANOKE, Va. – It’s not at all rare to look to the west and see the planet Venus. In fact, it’s the second-brightest celestial body that we see in the night sky (second to the moon). This week (Apr 27-May 1), Venus will be at its brightest point Monday evening around 9.

That’s good news for us in southwest and central Virginia, as we expect a clear sky around that time. To Venus’ left, you’ll see the moon so you can use that as a reference point.

The planet will continue to shine brightly throughout the week. This is because Venus will be in a crescent phase (like the moon), at which point about a quarter of the planet is illuminated by the sun. The 25% illumination cannot be seen by the naked eye, but can be made out with a telescope.

Venus will dim again in the month of May, as it passes between the earth and sun. The planet will then become visible in the morning sky this summer.

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.