Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky's popular Tonight pages since 2004. He's a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. He also writes and hosts public astronomy programs and planetarium programs in and around his home in upstate New York.
At an equinox, and for several days before and after, the midday sun is straight up at noon seen from Earth’s equator. At this equinox, the sun is crossing the celestial equator, moving from north to south.
Greatest brilliancy for Venus is a delicate balance between how much we see of its day side, and the changing distance between our 2 worlds. Conditions are now optimum! Venus looms low in the twilight, dazzlingly bright.
Africa and South America – and islands in the South Atlantic – have the best shot at tonight’s young moon. Easier, generally, in the Southern Hemisphere than the Northern. If you miss it, look tomorrow!