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18th of September 2023
Venus at greatest brilliance
Venus is the brightest planet as seen from Earth, and it is currently at its greatest brilliancy. As Venus orbits the Sun closer than the Earth, it is visible either just before dawn or just after sunset, and is never more than 47 degrees from the sun. Greatest brilliancy for Venus is a combination of two factors: illumination and disk size. Venus reaches its greatest illuminated extent -- when the lighted portion of the planet covers the greatest area on our sky -- on September 19th. This happens about a month before Venus reaches greatest western elongation, which is when its angular distance from the sun is largest. Venus won’t be this bright again until February 2025. The image above shows Venus seen from the ATCA Observatory on September 15th. Venus is visible in the top right corner of the image (but you may need to zoom in to see it...).

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