Belt of Venus
Fr.: Ceinture de Vénus
A pink to brownish border above the horizon separating the Earth's dark shadow on the sky from the sky above it. The Belt of Venus appears during a cloudless twilight just before sunrise or after sunset. It is due to scattered red sunlight in the atmosphere. Also called anti-twilight arc.
phases of Venus
Fr.: phases de Vénus
The gradual variation of the apparent shape of → Venus between a small, full → disk and a larger → crescent. The first telescopic observation of the phases of Venus by Galileo (1610) proved the → Ptolemaic system could not be correct. The reason is that with the → geocentric system the phases of Venus would be impossible. More specifically, in that model Venus lies always between Earth and Sun. Hence its fully bright surface would always be toward the Sun; so Venus could not be seen in full phase from Earth. Only slim crescents would be possible. On the other hand, this phenomenon could not prove the → heliocentric system, because it could equally be explained with the → Tychonic model.
transit of Venus
Fr.: transit de Vénus
A rare phenomenon that happens when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth and is therefore seen against the solar disk. Such a passage occurs every 122 or 105 years and when it happens the next occurrence is after 8 years. Only seven transits of Venus have occurred since the invention of the telescope: in 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882, 2004, and 2012. The next one will be in 2117. The reason for this rarity is that the Earth and Venus do not orbit the Sun in the same plane. Their orbital planes have a relative inclination of about 3°. The first observation of the Venus transit was in 1639 by the English Jeremiah Horrocks (1618-1641). See also → black drop.
The second → planet from the → Sun, at a mean distance of roughly 108.21 × 106 km (0.72 → astronomical units). The → greatest elongation of Venus is about 47°, making it visible at most about 3 hours after sunset or before sunrise. Venus has the most circular orbit of any planet in the solar system. Venus is only slightly smaller than Earth (95% of Earth's diameter, 80% of Earth's mass). Its chemical composition and density are comparable to those of the Earth. It takes Venus just under 224.401 days to orbit the Sun, compared to the 365 day → orbital period of the Earth. Venus' rotation is → retrograde, that is it actually rotates from east to west, as opposed to west to east (→ prograde) which is the common rotating direction of most other planets. Seen from Venus, the sun would rise in the west and set in the east. Moreover, it takes about 244 Earth days for Venus to rotate once (→ sidereal rotation). This is longer than its orbital period. The length of its → solar day is about 117 Earth days. → Venus rotation. Its axial tilt is only three degrees, so there are no seasons on Venus. The → atmosphere on the surface of Venus consists mostly of → carbon dioxide, with a small trace of → nitrogen. Venus has a surface pressure about 90 times that of the Earth. See also: → Venus visibility, → transit of Venus.
O.E., from L. Venus, the goddess of beauty and love in ancient Roman mythology, from venus "love, sexual desire, beauty, charm;" PIE base *wen- "to desire, love, wish;" cf. Av. vāunuš "lovingly," vantā- "beloved one, wife;" Skt. van- "to love, desire," vanánā- "desire," vanitā- "beloved one, wife;" O.H.G. wunsc(h) "wish," wunsken "to wish."
Nâhid, planet Venus, Mid.Pers. Anahid; O.Pers. anāhita- "immaculate, unstained," goddess of pure waters and fertility, from Av. arədvī-sūra-anāhita "valient and unsustained lord of waters," from arədvī- (Skt. Saravastī) probably "she who possesses water," + sūra- "strong, powerful" (Skt. śūra- "valiant, courageous") + anāhita- "unstained," from an- negation prefix + āhita "spotted."
Fr.: rotation de Vénus
The → sidereal rotation period of Venus, or its → sidereal day, is 243.025 Earth days (retrograde). The length of a → solar day on Venus (that is one entire day-night period) is 116.75 Earth days, that is significantly shorter than the sidereal day because of the retrograde rotation. One Venusian year is about 1.92 Venusian solar days.
Fr.: visibilité de Vénus
The conditions under which Venus can be seen from Earth as
it travels in its orbit around the Sun.
The → synodic period of Venus, that is the time Venus takes to
be seen again from the
Earth in the same position with respect to the Sun, is 583,92 days
or just over 19 months. When Venus is between Earth and Sun
(→ inferior conjunction) or on the far side of the sun
(→ superior conjunction), it is invisible in the Sun's glare. Since its
→ greatest elongation
from the Sun is never more than 47°, Venus appears only as
"the morning star" and "the evening star."
So at its greatest → western elongation
Venus will rise about
three hours ahead of the Sun and at its greatest → eastern elongation
it will set about three hours after sunset.
Its entire cycle is as follows: