Sunday Venus moon conjunction will be a beauty

The moon and Venus pair up tomorrow evening low in the western sky. Start looking about 15 minutes after sunset. Stellarium

Have you seen Venus yet? It’s our only easily visible bright planet in the evening sky. Too bad it sets so soon. Once dusk is done, we’re left with dim Uranus and Neptune until after midnight when Jupiter finally joins the clan. While Saturn is technically an evening planet, it hardly counts. By the time it gets dark enough to see from mid-northern latitudes, it’s close to setting.

Venus is visible low in the west-southwest sky during early evening twilight. Credit: Bob King

Venus is about a fist high in the west-southwest 15 minutes after sunset. You can go out tonight and find the planet shining bright and alone above treeline and hilltop. Tomorrow night Sept. 8 the 3-day thin crescent moon will join Venus in a beautiful, close conjunction. As yellow mellows to red on the western horizon the moon will pass only a couple degrees to the left or east of the planet seen from the Americas. Europeans will see the moon just below Venus.

Venus hangs near the horizon for the remainder of the year, taking its sweet time to climb into better view. On the 17th and 18th Saturn glides above Venus in yet another conjunction. For that you’ll need binoculars, but tomorrow night’s show will require only an open view to the west and a pair of eyes.

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About astrobob

My name is Bob King and I work at the Duluth News Tribune in Duluth, Minn. as a photographer and photo editor. I'm also an amateur astronomer and have been keen on the sky since age 11. My modest credentials include membership in the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) where I'm a regular contributor, International Meteorite Collectors Assn. and Arrowhead Astronomical Society. I also teach community education astronomy classes at our local planetarium.

11 thoughts on “Sunday Venus moon conjunction will be a beauty

  1. Will Venus sink even lower before it gets higher, Bob? After all, it’s only in Virgo. It still has to get to Sagittarius! Which constellation will it be in when it gets to max. eastern elongation in November?

  2. Hi Bob, yesterday’s Moon-Venus was an occultation in South America. A friend of mine there shot a great sequence of the entire event. Check my Facebook wall :)

  3. Some time ago I took a series of pictures of the moon it was so bright that I just had to capture it. On looking back I noticed that from being a perfect full circle, it had started to change shape almost like a kidney shape. I have since zoomed in on these pictures and noticed a faint circle next to the moon in the distance; almost like it’s reflection. I am not clued up on anything astronomical and so dismissed it. On closer inspection of the kidney shaped picture though, the faint shape also starts to mimic the moon and elongates as though reflecting the shape of the kidney. Very bizarre but it has baffled me for a long time. I still have these pictures and view them often to try to make sense of the. Could you enlighten me?

    • Hi Amanda,
      First, I love your description of the gibbous moon as “kidney-bean” shaped. What you’re seeing is an internal reflection of the moon (sometimes these show upside down) caused by light bouncing around inside the lenses of your camera. Because it’s not direct but reflected moonlight, these internal reflections are fainter.

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