The planet Venus has graced our evening sky for many months, but it’s about to disappear in the sunset glare. If you look outside this evening, shortly after the sun goes down, you’ll find Venus in bright western twilight. In fact, you might even see Venus now in a blue daytime sky. If you point ordinary binoculars at Venus now, you’ll discover something else. The planet is now in an exceedingly thin crescent phase.
Don’t wait too many days to see it, though, or one evening you’ll look for Venus … and it’ll be gone. Venus will pass 5 degrees north of the sun as seen in Earth’s sky – more or less between the Earth and sun as seen from above the solar system – on January 11. About a week later, you’ll find brilliant Venus up before dawn.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded 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.