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Pioneer Venus

Solar System

Did Pioneer Venus Find Phosphine First?

NASA's Pioneer Venus mission, which launched in 1978, found the first tantalizing clues of phosphine, a potential biosignature gas — but it took 40 years to realize it!

Venus

Pro-Am Collaboration

Calling on Amateur Astronomers: Observe Venus!

The Mercury-bound BepiColombo spacecraft will fly by Venus on October 15th, and the mission is asking amateurs for their help.

EnVision Orbiter

Astrobiology

Race to Venus: How We’ll Verify Phosphine

Confirming phosphine's presence on Venus is difficult from Earth . . . and that makes a good case for a mission to our sister planet.

Gibbous Venus from Akatsuki

Astrobiology

Potential Biosignature Found in Venus’s Clouds

Astronomers might have found a potential indication of life in the clouds of Venus.

Venus-Jupiter conjunction

Celestial Objects to Observe

How Bright Are the Planets?

What do Venus and Jupiter have in common? Revisions to planets' magnitudes in this year's Astronomical Almanac have revealed some surprises.

Planets

See the Phases of Venus

If you have a set of binoculars or a telescope, watch for Venus’s thinning crescent over the next couple weeks.

Bob King blog post

Explore the Night with Bob King

Shadow-casting with Venus

Venus has a been powerful presence at dusk for months — bright enough to cast shadows. How would you like to put it to the test? The Moon won't spoil the darkness until at least April 24th — April 25th if you wait till after moonset — making it the perfect time to see your own shadow by the light of another celestial body.

Explore the Night with Bob King

The Pleiades Welcome Venus

You can renew your own cosmic connection on Friday night, April 3rd. That's when the planet Venus will skirt the Pleiades star cluster in a spectacular dusk conjunction visible across much of the planet.

Planets

Venus Occults a Star and Mercury Joins Jupiter on the Winter Solstice

Bring in winter with a bang with a beautiful, close conjunction and a rare planet-star occultation.

Stargazer's Corner: Adventures Under the Night Sky

Tracking Venus's Retrograde Motion

Inspired by a "Sun, Moon & Planets" column, the author spent the spring of 2017 tracking Venus's retrograde motion across the sky, exploring the relationship between the orbits of Venus and the Earth pointed out by Copernicus.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Vega Promises, Venus Visits M35, and a Subtle Comet Shines at Morning

A familiar light shines in the east at dusk, Venus makes a pit stop at a departing star cluster, and Comet PanSTARRS (C/2016 M1) coaxes before dawn.

Planets

Venus Peeps Back Into View at Dusk

After a long drought, a bright planet emerges in the western sky. Welcome back, Venus!

Explore the Night with Bob King

An Exquisite Venus–Jupiter Conjunction

Venus bids farewell at dawn, but not before a close encounter with returning Jupiter.

Celestial News & Events

Venus and Mars Kiss at Dawn

Be sure to set the alarm so you don't miss the squeaky-tight conjunction of Venus and Mars Thursday morning. They'll stay close through the weekend.

Venus clockwork rover

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

"Clockwork Rover" for Venus Exploration

Engineers have come up with an innovative "clockwork rover" concept designed to survive the hostile environment of Venus.

Venus over Lake Superior

Planets

Watch Venus and Uranus Double Up Beneath a Comet

Following an occultation of Rho Leonis by the Moon, watch Venus and Uranus pair up in a weekend conjunction just 10° from Comet ER61 PanSTARRS.

Pointy Planet

Astronomy and Stargazing Projects

See an Ultrathin Venus Crescent

With Venus approaching inferior conjunction, don't miss the chance to see one of the thinnest Venus crescents of your life.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Three Crescents and a Sinking Comet

If you're crazy about crescents, you'll find your happy place this week between the Moon and Venus. Meanwhile, we shift our focus from 45P/H-M-P to another famous periodic comet, 2P/Encke.

Mystery Object? No, Just Sirius

Explore the Night with Bob King

Why Are There So Many UFOs?

In an age when UFO sightings are rife, we look at other possibilities that may help to explain the strange apparitions many see.

Venus by the Slice

Explore the Night with Bob King

Moon Occults Venus on December 7th

After taking us to Comet Catalina's doorstep, the Moon covers Venus in a spectacular daytime occultation visible from most of North and Central America on Monday, December 7, 2015.

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