Go outside about one hour after sunset and look to the western sky. You'll see Venus along with some bright stars surrounding it.
One reason that Venus is so bright early in May 2012 is that it is approaching Earth, which makes it appear larger and brighter to us here on Earth.
Venus is also transitioning from the far side of the Sun to the near side of our star. This provides more sunlight to be reflected off of the planet, making it shine brighter in the night sky.
And about a month from now, on June 5-6, 2012, depending on where you are in the world, the planet Venus will transit the Sun; that is, it will move across the Sun as it travels in front of the Sun from our perspective here on Earth.
Generally, people in North America will observe the beginning of the transit in the afternoon and evening of June 5, 2012, while those in Eurasia will see the end of it in the morning of June 6, 2012.
For more on this Venus transit of the Sun, check out TransitOfVenus.org.