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The closer Venus gets to Earth as it orbits, and the larger it grows, the skinnier its crescent phase. So at what point in its orbit does Venus appear brightest?

David T. Wolf, San Carlos, California

RELATED TOPICS: VENUS
The Sun-Earth-Venus geometry gives us many observing highlights.

Because Venus is closer to the Sun than Earth, it goes through a pattern of inferior conjunction (when it lies between the Sun and Earth), greatest western elongation (when we see it farthest from the Sun in the morning sky), superior conjunction (when it lies on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth), and greatest eastern elongation (when we see it farthest from the Sun in the evening sky).

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