Quiz – When is the best time to see Venus?

See Venus

Here is a quiz – what time of night is the best time to see the planet Venus? Is it sunset, midnight, sunrise? None of these? All of the above?

Think about it for a few minutes before you click to show the answer.

The answer is that the best time to see Venus is either at sunset or at sunrise. Venus is never visible from the Earth at midnight. This is because Venus orbits closer to the Sun than the Earth does. So, to see Venus we always have to look somewhat towards the Sun.

Midnight is the time of night when the Earth is facing away from the Sun. When we Earthlings look up at the sky at midnight we are looking directly away from the Sun. We can still see the outer planets at midnight because they are further away from the Sun. But, at night, the Earth itself blocks our view of Venus just as it blocks our view of the Sun.

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