Bright Venus Near the Moon

The easiest planet to see during this winter evening is Venus. On December 28, 2019, the waxing crescent moon and Venus will make a close approach, making a stunning view in the evening sky. Here is how to see the pair.

In the southwestern sky after sunset on Saturday, the crescent moon will occupy a position about three finger widths below Venus. Observers in Antarctica and the southern tip of South America will witness the moon pass in front of (or occult) Venus. The moon and Venus pass within 0°58′ of each other, easily visible with the naked eye and making a lovely scene for binoculars. The Moon will be at magnitude -10.0, and Venus at magnitude -4.0. The duo will be in the constellation of Capricornus.

Speaking of Venus, our brilliant sister planet will continue its lengthy winter appearance this week - shining very brightly in the southwestern evening sky, starting in twilight and setting after 7 pm local time in a darkened sky. While aircraft in that part of the sky might appear as bright as the planet, Venus will be distinguishable by its steady, unwavering light. Viewing Venus in your telescope during the upcoming weeks will reveal that its already less-than-fully-illuminated disk is waning as it swings wider from the sun. Try for telescope views of the planet while it is higher in the sky at around 5 pm local time – after the sun has completely set.

Check the stargazing app Star Walk 2 for the rise and set times for celestial objects and their position in the sky above you.

Happy hunting!

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Image Credit:Vito Technology

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