The moon and Venus, the sky’s brightest planet, will pair up closest together for the month this evening (Saturday, February 25).
When say that the moon and Venus are closest together for the month, we really mean the two bodies are closest together on the sky’s dome. Although they’re nearly aligned along the same line of sight, the two are nowhere close together in space. Tonight’s moon lies about a quarter million miles from Earth, whereas Venus lodges nearly 350 times farther away than the moon. And Jupiter looms farther out yet, at nearly six times Venus’ distance. Tonight’s waxing crescent moon is about 16 percent illuminated in sunlight. In contrast, Venus exhibits a waning gibbous phase, with 65 percent of Venus’ disk illuminated in sunshine. This may seem surprising since both worlds are approximately at the same place on the sky’s dome.