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.