BANGKOK — Consider waking up early (or staying up late) to glimpse Venus, visible nationwide at its brightest in 2020 on Wednesday.
The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand announced Friday that the planet – thought by ancient Thais to be two different entities – will be at its greatest brilliancy Wednesday starting 3:25am until dawn.
Suparerk Karuehanon, academic head at the astronomical institution, said that barring bad weather one should be able to view Venus with the naked eye in eastern skies near the Taurus constellation.
On Wednesday July 8, Venus will be at its greatest brilliancy, or when the sun shines on the largest area on Venus, in the whole of 2020.
Aspirational astronomers can go up to the rooftop with a pair of binoculars, a telescope, and a star chart app such as Stellarium or Sky Map to enhance their skygazing experience.
Venus seen at night before dawn in Thai astrology is called dao prakai phreuk, or morning star, and dao prajam muang when seen at dusk.
Tip: while stargazing, listen to Gustav Holst’s “Venus, the Bringer of Peace” (1914), part of his “The Planets” suite. Its sweet flutes and saccharine violins will be a lovely background for the planet named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Venus would be visible to naked eyes Wednesday. It has been corrected to say that Venus – which can be seen with naked eyes daily – will be at its brightest on Wednesday.