Monday, June 14, 2010
Venus near the Moon, June 15, 2010
The evening of Tuesday 15th is enlivened by the thin crescent Moon being close to Venus. As the view develops as the twlight deepens, you will see the Moonshine begin to glow against the darkening night.
This is a good opportunity to see Venus in daylight. You must be very careful to make sure you don't look directly at the Sun though. Hide the Sun behind a large object such as a wall or building when looking for Venus. The Moon is around 6 handspans from the Sun, but it is rather thin, and will be hard to see. You way want to try about an hour before sunset to give it your best chance to see the Moon. When you find the Moon, Venus will be seen as a bright dot just below.
The combined orbit of the Moon (and the slight wobbles in the Moons orbit), the orbit of the Earth and for the planets, their movement in orbit, means that sometimes the Moon will be close to these objects during any given month (Venus is close to the Moon on 15 July, 13 August and 11 September for example). Tonight Mars, the Moon and Regulus are close.