Home > Concepts, Ephemeris Program, Venus > 04/26/2018 – Ephemeris – When the Greeks thought Venus was two separate planets

04/26/2018 – Ephemeris – When the Greeks thought Venus was two separate planets

April 26, 2018

Ephemeris for Thursday, April 26th. The Sun rises at 6:40. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 1 minute, setting at 8:41. The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 5:52 tomorrow morning.

For the next three programs I’m going to take a look at Venus through the eyes of the ancient, or pre-telescopic cultures. It’s a teaser for the program I’m presenting at the NMC Observatory May 4th. Venus from the mists of time to today. We call Venus’ appearance in the morning the Morning Star and its evening appearance, the Evening Star. The very ancient Greeks thought they were two separate planets. The morning planet was Phosphorus, and the evening planet was Hesperus. Somewhere around the 4th or 3rd century BC someone figured the when Hesperus was out in the evening Phosphorus was not out the next morning, and vice versa. The then single planet was named Aphrodite, by whose Roman name, Venus, we still call it by today.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Venus (Hesperus) at its evening eastern greatest elongation

Venus (Hesperus) at its evening eastern greatest elongation on August 18, 2018 showing the part of its orbit that’s above the horizon. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Venus (Phosphorus) at its morning western greatest elongation

Venus (Phosphorus) at its morning western greatest elongation on January 6, 2019 showing the part of its orbit that’s above the horizon. Jupiter is the other planet visible. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Venus at inferior conjunction

Venus at inferior conjunction on October 27, 2018 showing its entire orbit on a smaller scale than the images above from the Earth’s perspective.  The far part of the orbit goes behind the Sun. The planets Mercury and Jupiter are seen left of the Sun. Created using Stellarium.

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