Look up: Venus will be visible and bright in the night sky tonight

Venus to reach highest point in sky on June 4

FILE - In this file photo made available by NASA shows the planet Venus made with data from the Magellan spacecraft and Pioneer Venus Orbiter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech FILE via AP) (Uncredited)

Feast your eyes on our sister planet this weekend: Venus will be at its highest point in our sky on Sunday.

The bright planet has been visible recently, and some may have passed it off as a star -- but NASA says it’s actually the bright, “hellish” planet of Venus shining down on us. And it’ll be situated perfectly for viewing on the night of Sunday, June 4.

Venus is Earth’s closest planetary neighbor and is known for its excessive heat and thick, toxic atmosphere. The planet, which is the second planet from the sun, has surface temperatures that are hot enough to melt lead, making it the hottest planet in out solar system, NASA says. The atmosphere is “filled with carbon dioxide and it’s perpetually shrouded in thick, yellowish clouds of sulfuric acid that trap heat, causing a runaway greenhouse effect.”

Venus is an “unlikely place for life as we know it,” but NASA says it may have looked similar to Earth billions of years ago, with oceans and “perhaps a steamy atmosphere.”

Throughout the month of June, Venus -- and Mars -- are getting closer to Earth, making them easier to view, particularly in the night sky. Venus will be most visible to us just as a full moon kicks in on June 3-4.

Be sure to break out those telescopes!

NASA says it will soon launch its DAVINCI mission in an attempt to explore the surface of Venus to learn more about the planet. Click here to learn more about NASA’s mission.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.