Venus is Back: Spot the Early Morning Beacon

Joe Rao in

060203_venus_map_02The planet Venus has returned to the early morning sky and has established itself as a dazzling morning lantern, emerging into view from beyond the east-southeast horizon before 5:00 a.m. local standard time. 

Just three weeks ago, on Jan. 13, was the day of its inferior conjunction – when it passed between the Sun and Earth and made its transition from an evening to a morning object. 

A week later it had moved far enough away from the Sun’s vicinity so that it was rising more than an hour before sunrise. Bill Bogardus, a member of New York’s Amateur Observers’ Society ( was one of the first to catch sight of it early on Saturday morning, Jan. 21:

“I got up to answer the call of nature a little after 6 a.m. and looked out my southeast window to the approaching dawn.  In the twilight, I spotted a bright object just a few degrees above the horizon. My guess was that it was Venus appearing on its eastward rise, which it turned out to be.”

And now Venus is much easier to sight, rising more than two hours before the Sun.

More here.