Many around the world spotted the young moon and blazing planet Venus in the bright evening twilight last night (January 2, 2014). Those with telescopes, or good binoculars, were able to see Venus as a crescent. EarthSky Facebook friend Jean-Baptiste Feldmann captured this beautiful photo. Thank you, Jean-Baptiste!
Why does Venus appear as a crescent world now, as seen from Earth? This planet will pass between the Earth and sun (more or less) on January 11. Thus the day side of Venus is facing nearly entirely away from us now, and we see a crescent world.
On January 2, in the language of astronomers, the moon was young, or waxing. Venus was old, or waning.
Venus will come back to the morning sky – east before dawn – after the middle of January. Watch for it!
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.