Solar System Phenomena — Venus in 2019

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The upper chart shows the path of Venus across the background stars over the course of the year. Stars to magnitude +4.5 are shown with some fainter objects included to complete constellation patterns. The white circles represent the planet on the first day of the month and are scaled according to apparent magnitude. The faint paths before the first circle and after the last circle represent the planet's positions in December of last year and January of next. In general, the planet moves from right to left except when it's in retrograde and proceding in the opposite direction. As an inferior planet, Venus never strays far from the Sun so it always begins and ends the year near the constellation of Sagittarius, located about one quarter of the way in from the left side of the chart.

The lower charts show how the appearance of Venus changes over the year. Below each image is listed the date, the apparent magnitude, the apparent diameter of the disk (in arc-seconds), the geocentric distance (in au), the elongation from the Sun (in degrees) and the percentage of the disk which is illuminated. Like the Moon, Venus exhibits a complete range of phases, from new to crescent to gibbous to full and back again. Unlike the Moon, however, Venus takes over a year to complete this phase cycle. Note how Venus is at its brightest during its crescent phase, when it is relatively close to the Earth.

Venus begins the year as the brilliant morning star, best viewed from southern latitudes until June. This apparition continues until superior conjunction in August when Venus returns as the evening star. It remains most visible from the southern hemisphere until the end of the year when the planet really begins to dazzle northern hemisphere observers. The planet is brightest at the beginning of the year, fading slightly to a mere −3.9 in June before brightening slightly to −4.1 by the end of the year.

01 Januaryelongation 46.9°, illuminated fraction 47.3%, magnitude −4.5, disk diameter 26.5 arc-seconds
1.3° south of the Moon
06 Januarygreatest elongation west: 47.0°
09 JanuaryLibraScorpius
14 JanuaryScorpiusOphiuchus
22 Januaryplanetary conjunction: 2.4° north of Jupiter
31 JanuaryOphiuchusSagittarius
lunar occulation: 0.1° south of the Moon
01 Februaryelongation 45.2°, illuminated fraction 62.1%, magnitude −4.3, disk diameter 19.4 arc-seconds
18 Februaryplanetary conjunction: 1.1° north of Saturn
01 Marchelongation 40.9°, illuminated fraction 72.2%, magnitude −4.1, disk diameter 15.7 arc-seconds
02 March1.2° north of the Moon
14 Marchdescending node
24 MarchCapricornusAquarius
01 Aprilelongation 34.8°, illuminated fraction 81.1%, magnitude −4.0, disk diameter 13.2 arc-seconds
02 April2.7° north of the Moon
10 Aprilplanetary conjunction: 0.3° south of Neptune
16 AprilAquariusPisces
18 Aprilaphelion
26 AprilPiscesCetus
29 AprilCetusPisces
01 Mayelongation 27.9°, illuminated fraction 88.1%, magnitude −3.9, disk diameter 11.6 arc-seconds
16 MayPiscesAries
18 Mayplanetary conjunction: 1.1° south of Uranus
01 Juneelongation 20.1°, illuminated fraction 93.9%, magnitude −3.9, disk diameter 10.6 arc-seconds
03 JuneAriesTaurus
01 Julyelongation 12.1°, illuminated fraction 97.8%, magnitude −3.9, disk diameter 10.0 arc-seconds
1.6° north of the Moon
03 JulyTaurusGemini
05 Julyascending node
07 Julymaximum declination north
25 Julyplanetary conjunction: 5.6° north of Mercury
26 JulyGeminiCancer
31 Julylunar occultation: 0.6° south of the Moon
01 Augustelongation 3.8°, illuminated fraction 99.8%, magnitude −3.9, disk diameter 9.7 arc-seconds
08 Augustperihelion
11 AugustCancerLeo
14 Augustsuperior conjunction
24 Augustplanetary conjunction: 0.3° north of Mars
30 August2.9° south of the Moon
01 Septemberelongation 5.1°, illuminated fraction 99.6%, magnitude −3.9, disk diameter 9.8 arc-seconds
09 SeptemberLeoVirgo
13 Septemberplanetary conjunction: 0.3° north of Mercury
01 elongation 12.9°, illuminated fraction 97.6%, magnitude −3.9, disk diameter 10.1 arc-seconds
15 OctoberVirgoLibra
25 Octoberdescending node
30 Octoberplanetary conjunction: 2.6° north of Mercury
01 Novemberelongation 20.7°, illuminated fraction 93.8%, magnitude −3.9, disk diameter 10.8 arc-seconds
08 NovemberScorpiusOphiuchus
23 NovemberOphiuchusSagittarius
24 Novemberplanetary conjunction: 1.4° south of Jupiter
28 Novemberaphelion
1.9° south of the Moon
maximum declination south
01 Decemberelongation 27.7°, illuminated fraction 88.8%, magnitude −3.9, disk diameter 11.7 arc-seconds
11 Decemberplanetary conjunction: 1.8° south of Saturn
19 DecemberSagittariusCapricornus
29 Decemberlunar occulation: 1.0° north of the Moon


The dates, times and circumstances of all planetary and lunar phenomena were calculated from the JPL DE406 solar system ephemeris using the same rigorous methods that are employed in the compilation of publications such as The Astronomical Almanac.