Morning after morning now, the waning crescent moon is approaching the planet Venus in the eastern, predawn sky. The two will meet on Wednesday, February 26 with spectacular views from around the world. Don’t miss this wonderful sky event, one of the best for 2014!
As seen from Europe, for example, Venus and the moon will appear separated on the sky’s dome on Wednesday by about half the moon’s diameter. These two brilliant beauties are climbing over the eastern horizon in the predawn darkness now. Watch for them Tuesday morning, as well as Wednesday morning.
They’ll be impossible to miss in the east before dawn, as nighttime’s two brightest objects. 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.
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 25 Venus occultation..
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.
Outside the occultation area, the moon will pass either north of south of Venus. It’ll be beautiful!
Bottom line: The moon and Venus are the sky’s two brightest nighttime objects, and they’ll appear close together in the eastern, predawn sky on Wednesday morning, February 26.
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.