The planet Venus becomes visible in the west just after sunset and is the third brightest natural object in the night sky. Venus is covered by thick clouds that reflect more than 70 percent of the sunlight that reaches the planet.Continue Reading
The second planet from the sun, Venus, shares many of the same physical characteristics as Earth. When viewed from Earth, Venus is typically visible for only a few hours either just after sunset or before sunrise. Venus is the brightest planet in the solar system, and the sun and moon are the only objects in the night's sky able to outshine Venus. Venus is much closer to the sun than Earth and appears just above the horizon in the western sky at sunset and in the eastern sky just before sunrise.
Venus remains close to the horizon due to its close proximity to the sun. Venus is most easily observed during an elongation, an event that occurs when the planet is in a position within its orbit that is at tangent to the view from Earth. While Venus is often clearly visible to the naked eye and is bright enough to cast shadows, planetary features can only be made out with the aid of a telescope or other viewing aid.Learn more about Astronomy
Jupiter is visible without a telescope and is the fourth-brightest object in the sky after the sun, the moon and the planet Venus. It is three times brighter than the brightest star, Sirius.Full Answer >
Stars appear to pulsate and twinkle in the night sky due to the refraction of light through the Earth's atmosphere. When the light from a star enters the atmosphere, air molecules bounce and deflect the light rays, slightly altering the apparent position and intensity of the star.Full Answer >
While NASA has not released an official statement regarding the four so-called blood moons of 2014-2015, it has published a report that explains when and why they show up in the night sky. The series of lunar eclipses began on April 15, 2014.Full Answer >
A planetarium is a facility designed to replicate the features of the universe in the night sky. Similar to a museum or science center, planetariums are developed in communities to offer education and entertainment to people curious about the field of astronomy. Visitors typically pay admission fees to enter just as they would at a theater or zoo.Full Answer >