This graphic shows the orbits of Mercury and Venus within the orbit of the Earth, and the maximum angular distance between these planets and the Sun as viewed from the Earth
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA.
Bright Star at Sunrise
Mercury, the planets closest to the Sun,
always appear pretty close to the
Sun in the sky.
so small and so close to the Sun that it is
really hard to see from Earth. Usually, it is lost in the Sun's
bright sunshine. Mercury can sometimes be seen with your own eyes at
sunrise or sunset, very low in the sky, near the horizon.
Venus can get farther away from the Sun, as seen from Earth, than
Mercury, so that it is easier to see in the sky.
It can be seen just
before sunrise or just after sunset as a bright
morning or evening star. At these times, Venus is
much brighter than the brightest star, Sirius, and can even
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