If you are up about an hour before sunrise in the morning (Sept. 21) and the sky is free of clouds you should take a look over to the east to see a bright point of brilliant light. That’s the planet Venus and in the morning the second planet from the sun reaches its greatest brilliancy during its orbit around the sun. The planet, though only at a crescent phase, appears to earthbound viewers at its most brilliant due to its proximity to Earth. The planet grows more illuminated as it orbits around the sun but dims as it moves further from earth. Venus will remain a morning star growing dimmer and dimmer until finally disappearing behind the sun in June 2016.
Michael E. Palmer is a writer and photographer based in Alabama.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org