Venus after sunset. Venus will be at greatest elongation – farthest from the sunset – on June 4, 2023. Look for Venus in the sunset direction as evening twilight falls. If you have a dark sky look for Mars nearby in the constellation Cancer the Crab. You’ll also see the constellation Leo the Lion higher up in the sky.
Venus will be farthest from the sunset in June, 2023.
When to watch: Venus comes into view after sunset in December 2022 and is visible in the evening throughout the early months of 2023. Greatest elongation – when Venus will be farthest from the sunset – will happen in early June. Afterwards, Venus will quickly sink toward the sunset as it races toward its sweep between the Earth and sun around mid-August, 2023.
Where to look: Look in the sunset direction, while the sky is darkening. You can’t miss Venus as the very bright evening “star.”
Greatest elongation is 7 UTC on June 4, 2023 (source: Astropixels).
Note: As the sun’s 2nd planet, Venus is bound by an invisible tether to the sun in our sky. It’s always east before sunrise, or west after sunset (never overhead at midnight). Venus is the brightest planet visible from Earth and shines brilliantly throughout every morning or evening apparition. Greatest elongation happens when Venus is farthest from the sun on the sky’s dome.
At greatest elongation in June 2023:
– Venus’s distance from sun on the sky’s dome is 46 degrees.
– Venus shines at magnitude -4.3
– Through a telescope, Venus appears 49% illuminated, in a first quarter phase, 23.56 arcseconds across.
For precise sun and Venus rising times at your location:
Old Farmer’s Almanac (U.S. and Canada)
Stellarium (online planetarium program)
Venus events from late 2022, into 2024
October 22, 2022: Superior conjunction (passes behind sun from Earth)
Jun 4, 2023: Greatest elongation (evening)
Aug 13, 2023: Inferior conjunction (races between Earth and sun)
Oct 23, 2023: Greatest elongation (morning)
Jun 4, 2024: Superior conjunction (passes behind sun from Earth)
Bottom line: At greatest eastern elongation on June 4, 2023, Venus is as far from the sunset as it will be for this evening apparition.