Venus and the “New Year” Crescent Moon

venus-moon-new-year-2017

Venus and the crescent Moon on the evening of January 1, 2017, imaged from Bethesda, MD.

The waning of the first day of 2017 sees the slender crescent Moon, rounded out by Earthshine, and the brilliant planet Venus in the western sky after sunset. Venus puts on quite a show this month as it reaches greatest eastern elongation on January 12 and lies some 47° east of the Sun. The planet then grows in brightness to magnitude -4.7 by month’s end. That’s as bright as the planet ever gets, bright enough to cast shadows on a dark night.

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