, on first seeing the Star of EärendilQuenta Silmarillion
24Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath
The shining light of the Silmaril rescued from Angband by Lúthien and Beren, and carried into the skies by Eärendil aboard his vessel Vingilot. As it first rose in the West, it was recognised by Maedhros as the Jewel of his father that he had sought for so long, now placed out of his reach beyond the confines of the World.
It was Eärendil and the light of his Star that led the Edain to Númenor in the early Second Age, and at that time the light of the Star was so brilliant that it hid all the other stars in the sky. From its guiding light came one of the Númenóreans' names for their land, Elenna, meaning 'Starwards'.
The light of Eärendil's Star played a crucial role much later in history, too: it was light from this Star that was trapped in Frodo's Star-glass, his gift from Galadriel, which helped him survive his journey into Mordor. Even today, the Star still shines - the story of Eärendil and his Silmaril was the Elvish account of the 'star' we know today as the planet Venus.
I 542 is the year that Eärendil succeeded in reaching Aman and speaking before the Valar. It was after this that the Valar carried Vingilot to the Door of Night so that the Star of Eärendil could take to the skies, but we do not know for sure how much time passed between the two events. The wording of the relevant passage in The Silmarillion does not give any specific timings, but the phrasing there implies that the Star rose almost immediately after Eärendil's arrival in Valinor.
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