Science

Venus shines at its highest point in the night sky this week. How to see it.

Venus is at its best to see in the next few days, so make sure you don’t miss out.

The volcanic, hellish planet will shine serenely at dusk at its highest altitude in our night sky, starting Sunday (December 5). It is so bright, at a magnitude of -4.4, that it will be easily visible to the naked eye and will outshine everything around it except the moon.

While Venus has risen higher in previous orbital cycles, it will still be up to 20 degrees above the horizon at sunset in New York City, according to EarthSky. Venus will then be at its brightest on Monday (December 7) as it races toward the lower solar conjunction, passing close to the sun (from our perspective) in January.

Related: The Best Night Sky Events of December 2021 (Stargazing Maps)

Do you see Venus and the moon?

If you take a picture of Venus and the moon, let us know! You can send images and comments to spacephoto@.

If you’re looking for binoculars or a telescope to view planets like Venus in the night sky, check out our guide for the best binocular deals of 2021 and the best telescope deals now. If you need gear, consider our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography to prepare for the next vision of the planet.

Between December 6 and 10, NASA says it can also chase the waxing moon while visiting a number of planets in the sky: Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter. The moon serves as a great “path finder” to search for planets when you are new to astronomy. The reason all of these worlds are so close is that they orbit the plane of our solar system, known as the ecliptic.

Image 1 of 5

This NASA graphic shows the location of the bright Venus and the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn in the night sky on December 6, 2021.

This NASA graphic shows the location of the bright Venus and the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn in the night sky on December 6, 2021. (Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

Image 2 of 5

This NASA graphic shows the location of the bright Venus and the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn in the night sky on December 7, 2021.

This NASA graphic shows the location of the bright Venus and the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn in the night sky on December 7, 2021. (Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

Image 3 of 5

This NASA graphic shows the location of the bright Venus and the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn in the night sky on December 8, 2021.

This NASA graphic shows the location of the bright Venus and the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn in the night sky on December 8, 2021. (Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

Image 4 of 5

This NASA graphic shows the location of the bright Venus and the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn in the night sky on December 9, 2021.

This NASA graphic shows the location of the bright Venus and the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn in the night sky on December 9, 2021. (Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

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This NASA graphic shows the location of the bright Venus and the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn in the night sky on December 10, 2021.

(Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

The agency advises that you watch Venus while you can, even in the cold. “Our cloud-covered neighboring planet will sink closer and closer to the horizon during the month, disappearing for most of us by the New Year,” the agency said, referring to January 1 on the Gregorian calendar.

“It will reappear in late January as a morning planet that precedes sunrise,” NASA added, “and it will not return in the night skies until December of next year.”

While we wait for Venus to reappear in 2022, it may also follow a host of new missions that are expected to target this planet in the coming years. The planet will also see some flybys in the next few years from two solar-focused missions: NASA’s Parker Solar Probe and the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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