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Is this the moon? No, it’s Venus

Venus is now catching up to Earth in its smaller orbit. It’ll pass between us and the sun on October 26. Between now and then, people peering through telescopes will see Venus wane in phase, like a tiny, featureless crescent moon.

Prabhakaran A from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates captured the planet Venus at greatest eastern elongation – 45.9 degrees from the sun on our sky’s dome – on August 17, 2018. We are able to see Venus and Mercury exhibit phases, because their orbits around the sun are inside the orbit of Earth. Thus, sometimes, their lighted faces are turned partly (or entirely) away from us.

Deborah Byrd

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