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01/10/2022 – Ephemeris – Venus starts a new cycle in the morning sky

January 10, 2022

This is Ephemeris for Monday, January 10th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 3 minutes, setting at 5:22, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:18. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 2:36 tomorrow morning.

Two days ago, Venus passed between the Earth and the Sun in an event called an inferior conjunction. Inferior has nothing to due to quality, but denotes the fact that Venus is passing between the Earth and the Sun. The other Venus conjunction is the superior conjunction when Venus passes the Sun on the far side. We should be able to spot Venus rather suddenly in the late 7 to 8 am hour in a few days. Its appearance seems sudden and is sometimes reported as a UFO. It sometimes surprises airport control tower officials, because it may look like an airplane coming in with its landing lights on. But it never lands. In its morning appearance, Venus is sometimes called the Morning Star or Lucifer.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EST, UT – 5 hours). They may be different for your location.


The Mayans of pre-Columbian Central America were meticulous observers of Venus, as is seen in one of their surviving books, the Dresden Codex. A Venus Cycle lasts 584 days, from first appearance in the morning sky, its heliacal rising, through its morning appearance, disappearance behind the Sun, through its evening appearance and disappearance on front of the Sun to the next heliacal rising. Astronomers call that it’s synodic period. Five Synodic periods equal almost exactly 8 years.

Venus 9 days after Inferior conjunction

Venus, 9 days after Inferior conjunction, next Monday morning. Venus will be just under 5 degrees above an unobstructed horizon at 7:30 am in northwest lower Michigan. Created using Stellarium.

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