On May 24, Venus hangs low in the western sky, and it sets around 10 p.m. Enjoy the bright evening planet while you can, because its nights are numbered. In the evenings late in May, Venus is lost in the sun’s glare, as both the sun and Venus together retreat below the horizon.
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It’s a setup of cosmic proportions. May starts with super bright Venus extraordinarily high in the western sky, but the planet falls out of view by month’s end, leaving us earthlings positioned for one of nature’s rarest of events: A transit of Venus across the sun on June 5 and 6.
Venus is high in the western sky at sunset. The negative fourth magnitude object is bright enough to fool airplane pilots into thinking it’s another plane. Right now, it sets around 11:30 p.m.
The young, crescent moon approaches Venus on May 21. It creeps closer to Venus on May 22 and then moves away May 23.