STARGAZERS can see Venus at its brightest this week.
This best part is you won’t need any fancy equipment, just the naked eye and the right directions.
To see Venus at its best you’ll need to be awake in the early hours on August 12 or 13.
These are also great days to see the annual Perseid meteor shower at its brightest.
The next time these two great celestial events occur at the same time will be 2028 so it’s definitely worth staying up for.
Currently referred to as the “Morning Star”, Venus will be the brightest object in the sky aside from the Moon.
Venus can be seen here travelling across the Sun[/caption]
There should also be a chance to see it bright and next to the Moon on the mornings of August 14, 15 and 16.
Around three hours before sunrise, try looking above the eastern horizon.
Venus will be at its highest point in the morning sky for 2020.
The planet should appear to the lower right of the slimming Crescent Moon and will look like a very bright star.
Venus looks very bright at the moment because it’s at its greatest elongation from the Sun when viewed from Earth so appears brighter to us.
If you’re not sure what you’re looking at you could download a sky scanning app that picks out constellations and planets.
Remember to give your eyes a rest from looking at your phone though.
Stargazing is better when your eyes have adjusted to dark surroundings.
Here’s what you need to know…
- Venus is nearly the same size as Earth with a diameter of 12,104 km compared to Earth’s 12,742 km
- Venus is so hot that the surface temperature can reach 471 °C
- It rotates in the opposition direction to most planets, potentially due to an asteroid collision
- The first man-made aircraft landed on Venus in 1996
- Venus is the hottest planet in the Solar System
- It is the second brightest object in the sky at night
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In other news, the Moon has been used as a gigantic mirror by scientists on the hunt for other habitable planets.
A huge wave of toxic gas has been spotted surging across Venus in an event never seen before in the Solar System.
And, Venus may have been habitable ocean world 700million years ago.
Have you ever seen Venus with the naked eye? Let us know in the comments…
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