Last night (October 15,2013) at 7:30 PM, I noticed an incredibly brilliant light in the South-Western sky. I don’t have a telescope, but, using my binoculars, I noticed this “light” was pure white in color. I live in West Palm Beach, Florida. I’m not sure if this “light” is a planet or a satellite. By Gary Stanullwic
Hello Gary and thank you for contacting us. By the time of day and the orientation and white color of your “Light Source” we are pretty sure it is the planet Venus. Right after sunset which occurs at 6:52PM today as the sky gets darker, you will certainly start seeing Venus in the south western sky. Venus is the brightest object in the sky other than the Sun and the Moon and brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. In a clear night, and the weather has been very benign these past few days, it is a very impressive view. As seen from Earth, since Venus is an interior planet and closer to the Sun than we are, Venus appears in the sky either after sunset or before sunrise. It all depends on its elongation which means basically how far it gets from the Sun from our perspective as it rotates around our star. Maximum elongation will occur on Nov 1 2013 that means that it will look higher and higher in the night sky as we approach Nov 1 and then slowly will move lower and lower if you track it every night untill it will vanish into the glare of the Sun only to reappear a few days later in the early hours before dawn. Hope we have been usefull.