Happy New Year. It’s Stephen Wolfing with some Sky news. Bright sky in Britain today offers the opportunity to view Venus under a thin crescent moon soon after sunset. Here’s what the One Minute Astronomer website reported:
January Night Sky
2-3 Jan. A thin crescent Moon shares the southwestern sky with Venus after sunset. The planet is on its way to inferior conjunction on the 11th, lying roughly between the Earth and the Sun, so it appears in a telescope as a slender crescent more than 60″ across, larger than Jupiter.
The slender crescent Moon and Venus, along with the stars Altair and Vega, as seen looking west about 30 minutes after sunset on Jan 2, 2014.
If there’s a bright sky on January 24th you will be able to see a crescent moon waning, as well as Mars, Saturn and Venus.
Mars, the waning crescent Moon, Saturn, Venus, and the bright stars Spica and Antares as seen looking SSE on Jan. 24, 2014.
Moon Phases Explained
Wikipedia features clear explanations of the lunar phases. The waxing and waning times are seen oppositely in the Southern hemisphere, so when the northern is seeing the right of the moon, the southern is seeing the left.
|Phase||Northern Hemisphere||Visibility||Mid-phasestandard time|
|New moon||Not visible (too close to the Sun)Later to be followed by theMoon’s first visible crescent||(too close to Sun)||(too close to Sun)|
|Waxing (young)’crescent moon’||Right side, 1–49% lit disc||late afternoon andpost-dusk||3 pm|
|First quarter ‘moon’||Right side, 50%-lit disc||afternoon andearly evening||6 pm|
|Waxing ‘gibbousmoon’||Right side, 51–99% lit disc||late afternoon andmost of night||9 pm|
|Full moon||Completely illuminated disc||Sunset to sunrise(all night)||sunset to sunrise(all night)|
|Waning ‘gibbous moon’||Left side, 51–99% lit disc||most of night and early morning||3 am|
|Last (third) quarter moon||Left side, 50%-lit disc||late night and morning||6 am|
|Waning (old)crescent moon||Left side, 49-1% lit disc. Diminishing to the Moon’s last visible crescent||pre-dawn and morning||9 am|