Venus is one of the brightest objects in the night sky because the thick clouds that surround the surface reflect most of the light that reaches it. Another reason Venus appears so bright is due to the fact that it is the closest planet to the Earth.
The planet Venus can usually be seen within a few hours after the sun goes down or just before sunrise as the brightest object in the sky aside from the moon. Venus seems to be brightening, which makes it even more visible from the Earth. Around the 17th century, Galileo discovered that Venus also has phases that are similar to that of the moon.