Venus shines its brightest Monday morning

Posted at 6:51 AM, Sep 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-21 08:51:06-04

Have you noticed the bright object in the eastern sky just before sunrise? That’s Venus, and will be the brightest possible early Monday morning.

Venus is the second planet from the Sun, and the sixth largest in our solar system. It’s just a bit smaller than Earth, but is much different than Earth.

Venus has a tremendous amount of carbon dioxide making it a hot place, over 800-degrees. It doesn’t rotate as fast as Earth, so the length of one day there is about 243 Earth days. A year there, or one rotation around the Sun, takes 225 days.

What’s unique now is that the orientation of Venus to Earth is perfect for us to catch the most reflected sunlight. This brightest moment of Venus happens Monday morning.

Known as the “morning” or “evening” star, this is the second brightest object in our sky; second to the Moon. This is what shown so brightly in our evening sky last winter and spring.

Venus switched from an evening star to the morning on August 15th. It will stay in our morning sky through early June 2016. However, the brightest it will be is Monday morning.

This should be a fantastic sight. From Denver, look straight east before sunrise. Monday’s sunrise is roughly 7am, so be sure to check out Venus well before that. I’d suggest 6am as a great viewing time.

Matt Makens is a Colorado native -- Douglas County born and raised. He is the 12th person certified as a broadcast meteorologist in the country, and the only one in Denver that is from here. He is also Colorado's most awarded weather anchor in the past 4 years. You can follow his updates on facebook and twitter.