On May 27, 2022, the waning crescent moon swept in front of Venus, hiding it from view for about 50 minutes. To see the moon occult Venus, you had to be inside a narrow path stretching through most of southeast Asia and into the Indian Ocean. Note that the telescope turned the image of Venus and the moon upside-down. If your eyes could act as telescopes, magnifying the view, you would have seen the pair in the sky like this:
Waning moon, waxing Venus
Also notice that the moon is in a slim waning crescent phase, while Venus is in a waxing gibbous phase now. These two appeared close in our sky, but they are far apart in space. A heliocentric chart of the May 2022 planets illustrates the view from above the solar system:
What did the rest of us see?
Those of us who couldn’t see the occultation had a striking view of Venus and the moon, anyway. We got many photos of the waning crescent moon sweeping near Venus at EarthSky Community Photos. The photo below – from Tameem Altameemi in Dubai – illustrates the striking “crescent and star” (really, planet) that most of us saw in the early morning sky on May 27, 2022.
Bottom line: Venus passed behind the moon on May 27, 2022. An astrophotographer on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean captured the scene.
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.
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