When Can You See Venus in Full Phase?

Venus’s phases happen as it orbits the sun, which takes 225 Earth days.
••• Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

From Earth you can see the moon transform from a full face to a tiny sliver and back again. Venus, second planet from the sun, appears to go through comparable phases when observed through a telescope. The planet is often visible in the sky, yet its brightness varies. It was not until Galileo viewed Venus through a telescope in 1610 that the similarities between it and the moon became clear.

Just a Bit

A moon or planet is visible in the sky because it reflects the sun's light. The half of Venus that faces the sun is always lit up. Venus moves around the sun inside Earth’s orbit. When Earth and Venus are close, the sun is on the other side of that planet. In that case, most of the lit side of Venus faces away from the Earth, so you see only a sliver shining.

More and More

As Venus moves around the sun, you see more of the part of the planet facing the star. Venus seems to grow from a crescent to a semicircle. When Venus’s orbit is on the far side of the sun, you can see most of the surface that is reflecting light. The planet appears very bright and quite full. However, you can never see the entire full phase of Venus because the sun blocks it from your line of sight.

Related Articles

What Are the Eight Phases of the Moon in Order?
How to View Venus in the Night Sky
How to Tell if the Moon Is Waning or Waxing
What Covers the Moon at Night
How Far Is Earth From Venus?
How Many Earth Days Equals One Year on Venus?
What Is the Bright Light in the Evening Western Sky?
What Causes the Day/Night Cycle on Earth?
The Explanation of Phases of the Moon
Definition of Phases of the Moon
How Much Time Is One Day on Mars?
What Are Some Unique Characteristics of Saturn?
What Is the Darkest Portion of the Moon's Shadow During...
Dark Moon Vs. New Moon
What Is Venus's Revolution Period in Earth Days?
Five Phases of the Moon
Fun Facts of the Sun, Moon & Stars
Moon Phases & How the Seasons Change
What Is the Length of Day on Mercury?
Different Moon Phases