|Venus de Milo|
Because Venus orbits between the Earth and the Sun, it moves through phases of illumination just like our Moon. As Venus is now 8 days from inferior conjunction, only a very thin crescent is illuminated. Below is a stack of 500 frames from an avi file of Venus I captured this afternoon through my TEC 140. I may have overdone the processing a little as the extreme tips of Venus seem to have been lost, but either way you can appreciate how thin the crescent is.
Currently, Venus is nearly at its largest apparent size, with a diameter of 61.08 arcseconds and is a beacon of light shining at magnitude -4.26, making it far and away the brightest object in the evening sky. In a nice coincidence of numbers, it is 2.3 light minutes away, and is also 2.3% illuminated.