Venus Outshines Everything in the Pre-Dawn Sky

September 20th, 2015

Venus is at its maximum brightness today and easily outshines everything else around it. In fact, Venus is the third brightest object in the sky, after the Sun and the Moon. It shines so brilliantly for two reasons: firstly, it’s our nearest planetary neighbor but secondly – and more importantly – it has an extremely thick atmosphere that reflects most of the sunlight back into space. (It also keeps the surface unbearably hot – about 450° C or about 840° F)

I envy anyone with a clear view of the pre-dawn eastern horizon over the next few months. It’s going to be amazing. Not only do you have brilliant Venus, but there’s also Mars, Jupiter and the bright star Regulus. But wait – there’s more – keep coming back on a regular basis and you’ll also see the crescent Moon and Mercury make an occasional appearance and Spica will also play its part.

Not to be missed!


All Astronomical Events for September 20th, 2015

21:00 UT – Venus reaches maximum brightness. Magnitude: -4.55. (26% illuminated, magnitude -4.5, diameter 38.6”. Naked eye, Cancer, pre-dawn sky. See images above.)


Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are visible with the naked eye.

All times are in Universal Time (UTC). To convert the time to your timezone, click here.

Astronomical events taken from 2015: An Astronomical Year, available in Kindle and paperback formats from Amazon in the USCanada and the United Kingdom. Sky simulations created using the Mobile Observatory app for Android devices.

2015 An Astronomical Year (Kindle Edition) 2016 An Astronomical Year Paperback Cover 2016 The Night Sky Sights

2015: An Astronomical Year

2016: An Astronomical Year 2016: The Night Sky Sights The Astronomical Almanac (2016-2020) The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook (Pocket Edition)

(Kindle & Paperback)

(Kindle & Paperback) (Kindle & Paperback) (Kindle & Paperback)


Amazon – US

Amazon – US Amazon – US Amazon – US Amazon – US
Amazon – UK Amazon – UK  Amazon – UK Amazon – UK

Amazon – UK

Details of all available books across the world can be found here or by visiting the author’s page on Amazon. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at astronomywriter “at”


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