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Venus over Saronikos Gulf, Greece

The waxing crescent moon will be moving up past Venus in the first few days of this new week. Watch for them exceedingly low in the west after sunset.

Venus over the Saronikos Gulf, Greece, by Nikolaos Pantazis.  Thank you, Nikolaos!

View larger. | Venus over the Saronikos Gulf, Greece. See it in the orange twilight? Photo by Nikolaos Pantazis. Thank you, Nikolaos!

The brightest planet Venus has been sitting close to the glare of sunset on these December evenings, 2014. It takes a deliberate effort to see this world at evening dusk. Nikolaos Pantazis captured this beautiful image of Venus on December 18,2014. It’s Venus over the Saronikos Gulf in Greece.

Be sure to watch the skies on December 22, December 23 and December 24, when the waxing crescent moon will be back in the evening sky, moving up first Venus and then Mars in the western twilight. Find an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunset, and bring along binoculars, if you have them, to enhance the view.

The moon will be moving up past Venus, and then Mars, early this week.  The green line represents the

The moon will be moving up past Venus, and then Mars, early this week. The green line represents the “ecliptic,” or sun’s path across our sky.

In early December, at mid-northern latitudes like those in Greece or the United States, Venus was setting only about 30 minutes after sunset. It’ll be setting much farther behind the sun – about 75 minutes after sunset – by New Year’s.

By January, all of us will begin to notice Venus in the evening twilight sky.

Deborah Byrd

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