Crescent Moon to pair closely with Venus on September 8

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 04, 2013 08:40 hrs

Soon after the Sun dips below the western horizon on Sunday, September 8th, people will be able to see crescent Moon paired closely with Venus, the "Evening Star."

The pairing will look especially dramatic when viewed through binoculars or a backyard telescope at low magnification.

Although the celestial duo might seem close together, Venus is actually more than 400 times farther away - just under 100 million miles, compared to about 235,000 miles for the Moon.

Venus shines with a steady, unmistakable gleam. Often called the "Evening Star," it has been lingering above the western horizon after sunset for the past few months, and it will remain in view there through the end of the year. Seen through a telescope, the planet currently shows a tiny, football-shaped (gibbous) disk.

Meanwhile, the Moon is only three days past new, so its crescent will look razor-thin. As the sky darkens, many people will see the dark, left-hand portion of the lunar disk filled in with a ghostly glow known as earthshine. That portion of the Moon's nightside is dimly lit by the light of the nearly-full Earth in the Moon's sky. (ANI)

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