Man Ottewell initially printed this text as a weblog submit at his web site, Universal Workshop. Reprinted right here with permission.
What’s the pentagram or petals of Venus?
When plotted geocentrically – from an Earth-centered perspective – there’s a extremely noticeable rhythm within the movement of Venus. After eight years, it returns to the identical place in our sky on about the identical date. This is named the eight-year cycle of Venus, and stems from the truth that 13 Venusian orbits (13 x 224.8 days) very practically equals eight Earth years. As a matter of truth, the cycle was recognized to, and of nice curiosity to, historic peoples such because the Maya. Immediately, many comprehend it because the pentagram or petals of Venus.
The phrase pentagram – or five-sided determine – is as a result of, over the eight years, every phenomenon – every relative place of Earth, Venus, and the solar – happens 5 occasions. Then, over the subsequent eight years, they repeat 5 occasions virtually identically.
For Venus, the tight inward loops on the diagram above and animation under are the planet’s inferior conjunctions, during which Venus passes between us and the solar. And the broad swings are centered on the superior conjunctions, when Venus passes across the far facet of the solar from us. So the final sample is (as Anthony Barreiro commented):
… a stunning five-petalled rose.
So the tight loops are the stamens of the rose, and the broad swings are the petals.
Visualizing the petals of Venus
Beneath is an animation, displaying the identical factor … the orbit of Venus from an Earth-centered perspective. The smaller pale yellow dot is Venus, and the bigger yellow ball is the solar.
Once I tried to plot a geocentric image over eight years (2016-2023) to point out the whole rose, it was bewilderingly cluttered. The truth is. it had 5 overlapping tracks, eight-times-twelve little Venus globes at month-to-month intervals – already an excessive amount of with out the ecliptic-plane grid and different particulars.
So the picture on the prime of this submit is a extra simplified model: nonetheless calculated in three dimensions, however by transferring the perspective to the north ecliptic pole, it turns into a flat plan of Venus’ path.
Earth is within the center; the vernal-equinox path is to the proper; the yellow spots are the solar in the beginning of every month.
The remainder is the rhythmic motions of Venus.
You’ll nonetheless have bother deciphering which a part of the observe is for which yr (on the picture at prime, I’ve used white, cyan, magenta, yellow for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and once more for 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023) nevertheless it doesn’t matter drastically. You’ll be able to see the 5 inferior conjunctions, of their 5 instructions.
The Pentagram of Venus
In the event you hint throughout the circle from every loop to the subsequent, you see that they don’t seem to be adjoining to one another however 2/5 of the way in which round, just like the 5 factors of a pentagram.
Previous and future inferior conjunctions of Venus
The instructions of the 5 inferior conjunctions of Venus decide their differing characters, by figuring out their locations in Venus’ true (heliocentric) orbit, which is tilted and barely elliptical.
Mar 25, 2017: is in Pisces; Venus passes 8 levels north of the solar; distance from us 0.28 AU (astronomical units, aka sun-Earth distances); diameter of Venus’ (principally darkish) disk 60″ (arcseconds).
Oct 26, 2018: is in Virgo; 6 levels south of the solar; 0.27 AU; 62″.
Jun 3, 2020: is in Taurus; 0.5 diploma north of the solar; 0.29 AU; 58″.
Jan 9, 2022: is in Sagittarius; 5 levels north of the solar; 0.27 AU; 63″.
Aug 13, 2023: is on the Most cancers-Leo-Hydra border; 7 levels south of the solar; 0.29 AU; 58″.
By the way in which, you’ll be able to at present take pleasure in seeing sensible Venus within the west for just a few hours after sundown. It’s presently near the planet Saturn. And subsequent month it will likely be close to the planet Jupiter.
Backside line: Study in regards to the eight-year cycle of Venus in our sky and the petals of Venus, a rhythmic movement of Venus when seen from an Earth-centered perspective.