Venus is Earth’s twin. At least, it would be if it weren’t the planetary equivalent of hell. Venus is also notably the easiest planet to spot in the night sky. It’s brilliant, bright, and fairly close to us (astronomically speaking). Here’s how to spot Venus in the night sky.
1. Find out where Venus is on its orbit.
Venus orbits close to the Sun, so chances are no matter when you look, you’ll be looking in the direction of the Sun. Typically, you can find it in the west early in the evening and in the east early in the morning. There are some portions of the year when Venus is too close to the Sun to be seen, so be sure to check where it’s at during the month you want to observe.
2. Look for the brightest object in the sky (aside from the Moon and Sun).
Venus is so bright, it’s classified as the brightest object in the night sky after the Moon. That should make it fairly easy to spot. While there are many stars that stand out, you’ll be able to distinguish Venus from the others by its sheer brilliance.
3. Use a stargazing app.
If you’ve located a bright star but you’re not sure if it’s really Venus, you can always rely on a stargazing app. These apps overlay a map of the night sky on your phone’s screen so you can get a better idea of what you’re looking at. Many even have a search feature, so if you can’t spot the planet you can always have the app show you exactly where it is.