Venus hides in plain sight

Here’s one of the strangest sky maps you will ever see: Just the Sun, Venus and the Moon. Venus is going to spend the Monday hanging out with the Moon in our skies and many locations the Venus will pass behind the moon.

But as they say on Cupcake Wars – “your challenge is to . . .” see this in day time!

Use the map to find where Venus and the Moon will be around 9 or 10am – due south, just to the right of the sun.  Block out the sun with a building and see if you can find Venus or the Moon first. (In Manhattan, Venus and the Moon may be visible down the street canyons about noon time a little more than half-way between the horizon and straight over head.

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If you are up before sunrise, you can find Venus near the moon in dark skies in the eastern skies to the upper right of where the sky is brightening for sunrise.

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Just after 4:30pm on the east coast (1:30pm on the west coast), the moon will go in front of Venus. The moon will be near setting, just 4 degrees above the horizon, so it and Venus will be hard to see.

In a telescope, here’s what it would look like (thanks to Cartes du Ciel sky chart software) – note that tiny-looking Venus is half-full.

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If you want to see this for yourself, then scanning the western horizon with binoculars would help. You may see Venus before you see the Moon.  Further west, you’ll see Venus hide behind the moon higher in the sky.

 

 

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