Breathlessly we wait and stare skyward for the next appearance of enigmatic Venus. Is it the morning star? The evening?
Now thanks to Larry Koehn, who plots out and documents astronomical happenings at Shadow & Substance, we can see the path that it will plot out, along with the lines of orbits of planets that it will cross, animated from December 10, 2014 through August 15, 2015.
“If you watch the skies, you know Venus was visible before dawn for much of 2014. It was a morning object until around early September, when it disappeared in the glare of sunrise,” says Earthsky.org. “Venus was most nearly behind the sun—as seen from our earthly perspective—on October 25. Beginning in early December, Venus has made a steady climb back into the evening sky visible from around the globe. Now many are beginning to see it—and captured its photo. Its evening appearance in our sky will peak in northern summer 2015.”
As Koehn points out, Venus clung to the horizon for much of 2014, but this year is different. It climbs higher than normal throughout the year, sinking below the horizon in late summer.
“Last year, Venus traveled low along the horizon from the northwest to the southwest,” notes Koehn. “This year, our ‘sister planet’ is moving in the opposite direction and making a steady climb high into the sky with it peaking early next summer.”
Venus has fascinated humankind for eons. The Maya even mapped out its orbit for 7,000 years, a fact that when discovered took some wind out of panic about the supposed apocalypse that many thought the indigenous group had anticipated for 2012.
So check out the video below, and wonder no more about Venus’s appearance and canoodling schedule for 2015.