Brilliant Venus this month!

courtesy Pixabay

On some clear, crisp nights planets can look as if you could reach out and touch them! That’s often true of everyone’s favorite planet, Venus, especially on beautiful evenings when Venus seems to be courting the moon.

This month, morning sky watcher’s are in luck, as Venus can be seen in the east about thirty minutes before and after sunrise. AND the planet is at greatest brilliancy meaning it’s brighter to the naked eye than in any other phase. Yes, Venus, like the moon, has phases from full to crescent. When full, Venus is on the other side of the sun, so we don’t see it, and when it’s crescent it’s close to Earth. You might think that because it’s crescent we couldn’t see as much, but because of that nearby location we see it reflecting the morning sunlight brilliantly! No wonder it is also called the Morning Star! I’ve underlined the current phase in the chart below:

courtesy NASA and Earthsky.org

Earthsky.org has a picture of what Venus will look like just using binoculars and a full article right here.

courtesy Earthsky.org

Enjoy Venus with that morning coffee and if you snap a great pic, send it my way or put in on Click2Pins!

The Snow Moon

The FULL moon this month is a little late to earn its moniker Full Snow Moon, given that last week would have been a lot better! Perhaps this one should be called the Full Lover’s Moon as it will be full the afternoon of the 16th, but look plenty full and romantic next Monday, Valentine’s Day! Here’s a nice shot that came in over the weekend:

Courtesy Leah King on Click2pins.

And last but not least, if you’re a passive ‘star’ watcher, the skies the next two weeks should offer some beautiful viewing, like LuckyOne’s sunset over Lake Conroe this weekend:

from click2pins and "Luckyone"

Have a safe and much warmer week ahead! A couple of fronts will come through on the dry side and our temperatures will be crisp and cool!

Frank

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About the Author:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.