Planetary Science
Planet Venus

What is the maximum angle subtended on the celestial sphere by the separation of Venus and the sun?



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Because Venus orbits closer to the Sun than the Earth, the angle between Venus and the Sun can never reach 180 degrees (the Sun and Venus cannot be directly opposite each other, or in "Opposition", as viewed from Earth).

Assuming circular orbits for Earth and Venus of 149.6 million km and 108.2 million km respectively, and that the Earth and Venus orbit in the same plane, one can use trigonometry to find that the maximum angular separation between Venus and the Sun is approximately 46.3 degrees.