Updated: Sep 4
Venus will reach its greatest separation from the Sun in its 2021–2022 evening apparition. It will be shining brightly at mag -4.4.
From Nicosia , this apparition will not be one of the most prominent, reaching a peak altitude of 23° above the horizon at sunset on 7 Dec 2021.
2021–2022 evening apparition of Venus
26 Mar 2021 – Venus at superior solar conjunction
28 Oct 2021 – Venus at dichotomy
29 Oct 2021 – Venus at greatest elongation east
07 Dec 2021 – Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
07 Dec 2021 – Venus at greatest brightness
09 Jan 2022 – Venus at inferior solar conjunction
Venus's orbit lies closer to the Sun than the Earth's, meaning it always appears close to the Sun and is lost in the Sun's glare much of the time.
It is observable for a few months each time it reaches greatest separation from the Sun – moments referred to as greatest elongation.
On these occasions, Venus is so bright and conspicuous that it becomes the third brightest object in the sky after the Sun and Moon. It is often called the morning star or the evening star.
These apparitions repeat roughly once every 1.6 years, taking place alternately in the morning and evening skies, depending whether Venus lies to the east of the Sun or to the west.
When it lies to the east, it rises and sets a short time after the Sun and is visible in early evening twilight. When it lies to the west of the Sun, it rises and sets a short time before the Sun and is visible shortly before sunrise.
At each apparition, Venus reaches a maximum separation from the Sun of around 48°. However, some times of the year are more favourable for viewing Venus than others. From Nicosia, it reaches a peak altitude of between 21° and 47° above the horizon at sunset during each evening apparition, depending on the time of year. During its 2021–2022 apparition, it will peak at 23° above the horizon at sunset on 7 Dec 2021.
This variability over the course of the year is due to the inclination of the ecliptic to the horizon.