Throughout November and into December, Venus’ appearance will continue to improve, as it ascends higher in the sky and brightens. Then, on December 6, Venus shines at magnitude –4.9, the brightest it ever gets. It’s so bright, in fact, that you might be able to see a shadow: Try waving your hand above a fresh blanket of snow.
Look for Venus as this point in time 15° above the horizon an hour after the Sun goes down. An extra treat occurs December 5 when it again slides below a waxing crescent Moon.
Fast facts about Venus
- At greatest elongation November 1, Venus lies 61.6 million miles (99.1 million kilometers) from Earth.
- At greatest brilliancy December 6, Venus lies 37.8 million miles (60.8 million kilometers) from Earth.
- Our sister planet orbits the Sun in 225 days.
- Venus is 7,521 miles (12,104 kilometers) in diameter, or 95 percent the size of Earth.