Luna dances with Aphrodite

Jan 26

Written by:
1/26/2014 10:34 PM  RssIcon

The waning crescent Moon near Venus

This is truly a week for the Moon to be nearby objects. About an hour before sunrise on the morning of January 28, look out towards the east-southeastern sky where you have a clear, unobstructed view. Venus will be hard to miss, it's vivid, bright sparkling light dancing about 10 degrees above the horizon. 

But despite being technically brighter by almost 50 times, the larger surface area of the Moon may be harder to see, due to the very slim crescent of a Moon phase just a day or so before new. in the northern hemisphere, look to the right of Venus about 10 degrees or so (will vary somewhat based on location and time zone). Binoculars can help you pick out the narrow lit section of the Moon, though unfortunately the two are far enough apart that a picture may not bring out too much detail in the two. But it's worth giving it a shot with a 400mm or 500mm lens for a camera, if you have such a telephoto in your photographic arsenal.

The Moon skips past the Sun later in the week, with new phase occurring at 21:38 UT on Thursday. Look for the waxing crescent as it then joins the other inferior planet of our solar system, Mercury, in the evening sky.

Also, don't miss the supernova in Messier 82 or Mercury in the evening sky. For more astronomy happenings this week, and some cool objects to check out with binoculars or a small telescope, see Eyes on the week of Jan 27 thru Feb 2 in the blog. And for new telescope users, there's the "Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Telescopes and Amateur Astronomy" so you can leap from beginner to intermediate in about an hour!

Tags: Moon , Venus , conjunction
Location: Blogs Parent Separator The Nightlight

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The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.