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See it! Young moon, Venus, Mars

The moon has returned to the evening sky. This week, it’s sweeping past brilliant Venus and fainter Mars. Photos from the EarthSky community, here.

Annie Lewis caught the planets and moon on January 31, too. She wrote: “The heavenly trio of the moon, Venus and Mars tonight in Madrid, Spain. A light, misty cloud cover makes Mars difficult to see.”

As Patrick Prokop in Savannah, Georgia saw through his telescope, the phase of Venus was much like that of the moon on January 31, 2017.

Peter Lowenstein in Mutare, Zimbabwe wrote on January 31, 2017: “After two days of rain the skies cleared this evening to reveal the crescent moon, Venus and Mars shining brightly in the twilight sky … A beautiful sight as the air was crystal clear due to all the rain.” Compare this photos to others on this page, and you can notice that the planets and moon have different orientations to the horizon as seen from Earth’s Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Jarred Donkersley in Los Angeles wrote on January 31: “I love shooting planetary/lunar conjunctions because it’s a great chance to show simple night sky mechanics and it gets people thinking about the geometry of the solar system in a visual, experiential way.”

Venus-Mars-moon triangle – as the sun set over the Mediterranean – from Gilbert Vancell Nature Photography on January 31, 2017.

Venus, Mars, moon on January 31 from L’ubomír Janoštiak in Brezno, Slovakia.

“The Moon, Venus and Mars form a triangle in the twilight sky. Below, A Fisherman gathers his day’s catch, at the backwaters of Kelambakkam,” wrote Arjun Cheyyur in India.

The Venus-Mars-moon triangle of January 31, 2017 – as seen from New Delhi, India – by Abhinav Singhai.

January 31, 2017 view of Venus, Mars and moon from Zefri Besar in Brunei Darussalam, on the edge of the South China Sea.

Moon and Venus setting on January 31, 2017 by Lynton Brown in Australia.

Gowrishankar Lakshminarayanan in New Jersey created this Venus, Mars, moon composite on January 30, 2017 and wrote: “I couldn’t resist the super clear skies over New York City … This is a 16-image composite of the waxing crescent moon (11%), Venus and Mars, taken 4 minutes apart.”

Crescent moon and Venus with passing airplane, captured from eastern Tennessee by David Ball on January 30, 2017.

If you looked at Venus through a telescope now, you’d find the planet in a waning crescent phase.
Hubert Dró?d? in Poland wrote: “My photo of Venus. I used Baader Red Filter 610nm. Original photo on the left, converted to grayscale on the right.”

Moon, Venus, Mars on January 30, 2017 from Dianne Richard in Nassau County, New York.

Mars, Venus and the moon from Sweden on January 30, 2017 by Jorgen Norrland Andersson.

Mars, Venus our moon and Earth, as seen in New Mexico by Peter Rodney Breaux, January 29, 2017. Venus is the bright one above the moon; Mars is fainter, reddish and above Venus.

Genevieve Martin in San Antonio, Texas caught the January 29, 2017 moon and Venus on her evening walk.

Here are Venus and Mars seen from Earth’s Southern Hemisphere on January 29, 2017. Notice that their orientation to the horizon is different from what we see in this hemisphere. Helio C. Vital, who captured this photo, wrote: “This photo shows the planets Venus and Mars separated by only 5.5° in the evening sky over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Venus was 5.6 magnitudes (or almost 200 times) brighter than Mars.”

Venus will soon pass between in the Earth and sun, and, though a telescope, it’s showing a waning crescent phase toward Earth. January 29, 2017 photo by Alex Ustick. “Venus at -4.6 magnitude tonight. Brightness reduced to show detail.”

Moon and Venus on January 29, 2017 from Chintan Gadani in Ahmedabad, India.

This photo resonated with the weekend’s events. On a plaque mounted on this statue, it says: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” Waxing crescent moon partly shadowed by clouds, with Statue of Liberty below, as captured on January 29, 2017 by Gowrishankar Lakshminarayanan.

Kelly Thomas in Hetch Hetchy, California caught the very young moon on January 28, 2017.

By the way, Venus and Mars aren’t the only planets in the west after sunset. Uranus is there, too, invisible to the eye alone. Chirag Upreti in Rajastan, India caught it on January 27. You’ll see it in the inset at right. He wrote: “In this image you can see Venus shine through the ‘Babul’ tree in local language taxonomic synonym Acacia nilotica, a native of this dry and semiarid climate.”

Deborah Byrd

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