Tonight! Venus and Crescent Moon pairing after Sunset


Venus [courtesy of NASA]

A rare opportunity to view Venus and the crescent Moon in close proximity to each other will occur tonight, just after sunset.

Look towards West-Southwest (WSW) in the direction of Wing shortly after sunset, and cloud cover permitting, you will notice the two brightest objects in the night sky.

Venus is the closest planet to Earth and never strays too far away from the Sun due to its relatively close orbit, and being the second closest planet orbiting the Sun.  So if you don’t want to miss the pairing, make sure you catch a glimpse earlier in the evening before Venus sets on the horizon.

Venus, although Earth-like in many ways, is a particularly inhospitable place to visit, none of the space probes sent to land there lasted very long due to the very high surface temperature of 464°C, 90 times Earth’s atmospheric pressure, and acidic conditions.

Some scientists believe that Venus’ atmosphere may have been much more Earth-like in the past, with an abundance of water. Doomsday comparisons are often made between the natural runaway green-house effect that has occurred on Venus, and the possible man-made fate that awaits our own planet.

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