By Jim Costello
Beautiful Venus, striking and bright in the western evening sky, brought wonder and awe to human imaginations before the concept of a planet existed. Today, knowing what we do about Venus, those thoughts are stretched even further with critically important questions for Earth and life itself.
When Venus is close to Earth, passing on an inside lane around the sun, it is by far the brightest star-like object in the sky. Then she follows the setting sun, first getting farther from the sun as days pass, and then getting closer to the sun. Finally, Venus disappears for a few days only to reappear and lead the sun in the eastern morning sky.