ROANOKE, Va. – A lot of us had gotten used to seeing Venus shine in the western evening sky. In June, the brightest planet to grace our sky transitioned between the earth and the sun. Now, it shines brightly in the eastern morning sky, rising a few hours before the sun does.
Venus, like the moon, goes through phases. Whereas it’s been in a crescent phase, the amount of light “hitting” the planet will become larger. When the planet is about 25% illuminated by the sun is when it will appear at its brightest. That happens this week (7/6/2020 to 7/10/2020), according to Tony Rice, who is a Virginia Tech alum and current Ambassador to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
It will also appear with a friend, Aldebaran, which is one of the brighter starts in our sky. About a half hour before sunrise, Rice says you can also look for Mercury low in the horizon by the middle of the week. The upcoming sunlight may dim it out at times, however.
Be sure to check our forecast for viewing conditions each morning.