Today's Image

Photos: This week’s moon and planets after sunset!

Lit-up tree at end of a pier with colors of sunset and moon and planet above.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Mimi Ditchie in California took this photo on December 6, 2021. Mimi wrote: “I went to Pismo Beach last night to photograph the Christmas tree at the end of the pier during the low tide. It was cloudy and I didn’t expect much of a sunset, but the sunset turned out to be spectacular. It grew redder and redder as the sky darkened. Suddenly the clouds parted a bit and the crescent moon and Venus glowed through them. It was a stunning sight.” Thank you, Mimi!

Did you see the moon and Venus on December 6, 2021? What a glorious view in the evening sky! This week’s moon is moving up the line of bright planets in the evening sky. You can’t miss them if you look outside after sunset. You’ll find the planets in the sunset direction, shortly after the sun goes down. They follow the ecliptic, or sun’s path across the sky. And two (Venus and Jupiter) are brighter than any stars.

Watch for the moon to wax larger each day, as it passes Venus (brightest, nearest sunset point), then Saturn (faintest of the three planets, middle) and then Jupiter (2nd-brightest, highest in sky after sunset). See the chart below, and enjoy these photos from the EarthSky community!

Chart showing moon and planets.
The moon will be passing the bright planets in the evening sky from about December 6 to 9, 2021. Read more.

Photos from December 6

Three images showing the moon and Venus rising over  a mountain with lights of a city in front.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | David Rojas in Guatemala took this image of the moon and Venus setting from Guatemala on December 6, 2021. David wrote: “Sequence of the occultation of the conjunction of the moon in waxing phase and the planet Venus on the horizon, the city in the background called Amatitlán. The unlit part of the moon and the magnitude of the brightness of the planet Venus are observed.” Thank you, David!
Crescent moon in treetops and Venus above.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Chuck Reinhart in Vincennes, Indiana caught the moon and Venus on December 6, 2021. Thank you, Chuck! The moon and Venus were especially beautiful now, since Venus is still near its time of greatest brilliancy.
Large radio dish at sunset with the moon and Venus.
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Tim Jones in Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, England, captured this sunset with the moon and Venus on December 6, 2021, and wrote: “Venus above the Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, England with a two day old moon following the sun below the horizon” Thank you, Tim!
Moon and Venus close.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Joel Weatherly caught Venus and the moon on December 6, 2021 and wrote: “The moon and Venus were in conjunction this evening. They’re always a striking pair.” Indeed they are! Thank you, Joel.
Planets and moon.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Godfrey Pool in Colchester, UK, captured the waxing moon, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter on December 6, 2021. He wrote: “… a 9% crescent moon this evening. Taken in my back garden as the clouds cleared for a short while.” Thank you, Godfrey!

Photos from December 5

Planets and moon montage.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Steve Price in Draper, Utah caught the planets and moon very shortly after sunset on December 5, 2021. Fabulous catch, Steve! Thanks for sharing.
Young moon.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Greg Hogan in Kathleen, Georgia contributed this cool image of the December 5, 2021 young moon. He wrote: “… the crescent moon was setting just over the rooftop of my house, and in the shot is also the Christmas lights along the rooftop, which give a reflective inside look into the optics of my telescope.” Beautiful, Greg. Thank you.
Crescent moon in sunset, point of light above.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Helio C. Vital in Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, took this image of the moon and Venus on December 5, 2021. Helio wrote: “Bright Venus and the young moon adorning the dusk sky.” Thank you, Helio!

Bottom line: The bright planets Venus, Saturn and Jupiter are aligned in the sky after sunset now. The moon is sweeping through from about December 5 to 9, 2021. Photos from the EarthSky Community here.

December 7, 2021
Today's Image

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Deborah Byrd

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