On two evenings this week – August 3 and 4, 2016 – people around the world had a chance to see something really special. The very young moon was near two planets extremely low in the west after sunset, Mercury and Venus. What could be more beautiful? Yuri Beletsky works as an astronomer for the Carnegie Institution for Science, whose giant Magellan Telescopes are located at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. He’s also a wonderful sky photographer. Enjoy his photos of the planets! Of the photo above, he wrote:
.. we were so lucky to witness truly amazing scene, the moon and Mercury in close dance just above bright Venus soon after the sunset. I took an image and you can see how close Mercury actually was to the moon.
At some point I also noticed a stripe of light clouds passing by, and I waited few moments until it crossed the moon, producing some nice reflection.
I hope you will enjoy the view!
Thanks so much, Yuri!
Bottom line: Venus, Mercury and the moon as seen on August 3 and 4, 2016 from Chile.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.