Moon and Venus November 6, 7 and 8

Sky chart showing 3 positions of thin crescent moon near Venus in November 2021.
New moon is November 4, 2021, at 21:14 UTC. Then the young moon – a waxing crescent – returns to the west after sunset. You might see it on November 6. You will see it near dazzling Venus, if your western sky is clear to the horizon, on the evenings of November 7 and 8, 2021. Venus is 1.1 degrees south of the moon on November 8 at 5 UTC. An occultation takes place (the moon covers Venus) for parts of Asia.

Fresh from its greatest elongation (greatest distance from the sun on our sky’s dome) on October 29, Venus is easily seen from across Earth throughout November 2021.

For Southern Hemisphere skywatchers, this is an excellent to time to view Venus. Try the evening of November 6, when the moon will be a very slim crescent – a young moon – just above the sunset point. By the evening of November 7, the moon will be a fatter crescent, setting longer after the sun, very near Venus. On the next evening, November 8, the star-forming nebula M8 might be in reach with optical aid. It’ll be glowing subtly just beyond the moon’s dark side. Binoculars will enhance the scene.

EarthSky’s lunar calendar shows the moon phase for every day of 2022. Order yours before they’re gone!

For Northern Hemisphere skywatchers, Venus will appear lower in the sky, more to one side (the left side) of the sunset point. But Venus will remain a dazzling light in our sunset direction throughout November 2021. Those of us in the north will also see the moon slide past Venus on the evenings of November 7 and 8, 2021. Northern viewers might see the very thin waxing crescent moon on November 6 as well. For a special view, use binoculars to place the moon and Venus in the same field. You’ll also see earthshine, a mysterious glow on the moon’s night side.

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the view of Venus will improve throughout November. That seems paradoxical since Venus has reached the end of its tether with respect to the sun; its distance from the sun is now decreasing. Yet the view improves because, as Earth moves around the sun, the evening angle of the ecliptic – or path of the sun, moon and planets in our sky – is shifting upward. The effect is to carry Venus higher in the west after sunset.

Star chart showing Jupiter, Saturn and Venus on November 2021 evenings.
On any evening in November 2021, you can see 3 bright planets in the evening sky. They are Venus (brightest and closet to the sunset point), Jupiter (2nd-brightest) and Saturn. All 3 are very bright and noticeable. Plus they follow the ecliptic – sun’s path – across our sky. Jupiter and Saturn appear to move toward Venus throughout November. See the chart below. Chart via Stellarium.
Sky chart showing the path of the moon from December 5, 2021 to December 9.
By early December, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus will appear noticeably close, with Saturn midway between Jupiter and Venus. By the evening of December 5, for much of the world, the young waxing crescent is back in the evening sky. From that evening through the evening of December 9, you can see the moon sweeping up away from the sunset, passing first Venus, then Saturn, then Jupiter.

Bottom line: The moon will sweep past Venus on the evenings of November 7 and 8, 2021. Try November 6, too, when the moon will be just emerging from the sunset glare.

November 6, 2021

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Deborah Byrd

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