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Moon and Venus closest for month on February 26

Moon and Venus closest together before sunrise February 26.

Tonight for February 25, 2014

From most places around the world, people will see the moon and the brightest planet Venus closest together for the month before sunrise on February 26. These two brilliant beauties will climb over the eastern horizon in the predawn darkness. They’ll continue to light up the morning twilight until after all stars have been washed from the sky. Sharp-sighted people might even see the moon and Venus after sunrise.

If your sky is clear tomorrow, it’ll be nearly impossible to miss the waning crescent moon and Venus. After all, the moon and Venus rank as the second-brightest and third-brightest heavenly bodies, after the sun.

However, from parts of the world – for example, parts of Africa – you might miss seeing Venus on February 26. Why? Because the moon will occult – cover over – Venus before sunrise, as seen from Africa. Thus when the moon comes up on February 26 as seen from those parts of Africa, Venus will not be visible because it’ll be behind the moon. Click here to see who will witness the February 26 Venus occultation..

EarthSky Facebook friend Stacy Oliver Bryant captured this beautiful photo of the moon and Venus on Tuesday morning, February 25.  Thank you, Stacy!

EarthSky Facebook friend Stacy Oliver Bryant captured this beautiful photo of the moon and Venus on Tuesday morning, February 25. Thank you, Stacy!

Photo of the waning crescent moon and the planet Venus, shortly before the moon occulted Venus on April 22, 2009. Image credit: Raymond Shobe

Here’s approximately how the moon and Venus will look from Europe on the morning of February 26, 2014. From North America, the moon will appear below Venus. Photo of the waning crescent moon and the planet Venus, shortly before the moon occulted Venus on April 22, 2009. Image credit: Raymond Shobe

Elsewhere – for example, in India and Southeast Asia – it’ll be possible to watch this lunar occultation of Venus during the daylight hours on February 26. Where this occultation is visible, Venus will disappear behind the illuminated part of the moon and then will reappear on the dark side. If you get a good photo, be sure to post it on EarthSky Facebook, or at our photo community on Google+.

Outside the occultation area, the moon will pass either north of south of Venus.

Bottom line: No matter where you are in the world on the morning of February 26, 2014 the waning crescent moon will couple up with the dazzling planet Venus. From parts of Africa, Venus will be behind the moon. From parts of Asia, a daylight occultation of Venus will take place. The rest of us will see the sky’s second- and third-brightest objects together – spectacularly – before sunrise.

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