Moon and Venus Duet on the Post-Christmas Sky

Those who would like to find out something special in the sky on the post-Christmas day may see a beautiful combination of moon and Venus in the sky on December 26. Right after the sunset, look to the south-southwest side of the sky where you will see Venus shining about one-fifth of the way up from the horizon. Looking to the right and at a slightly lower altitude from Venus you will find sight of the slender sliver of a waxing crescent moon. The beautiful couple of Venus and the moon will remain in the sky for about 2.5 hours after the sunset and will disappear beyond the southwest horizon. Venus, that is currently 123 million miles (197 million kilometers) far from the Earth, will be shining   at   the -4   magnitude and on this scale,  it appears 11  times  brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.

The moon, which is currently 235,000 miles (379,000 km) away from the Earth, is in the two days past new phase. Only 6 percents of the moon will be visible in the sky. The rest of the moon will be illuminated in a faint grey-blue glow due to the sunlight reflected by the Earth. The spectacular duet of Venus and the moon may also be seen in the daytime. If you have a clear sky with no or little haze, you might check the south-southwest side of the sky in the late afternoon hours of Monday and Tuesday. You will be able to locate the moon over there. On Tuesday, the moon will be better seen since it will be located higher and will have a thicker crescent. Once you have located the moon, you will be able to find Venus, which on Monday will be positioned about 7 degrees to the moon‘s left and will be a bit higher. On Tuesday, Venus will be moved “one fist” below the moon. In the daytime, Venus will be visible as a tiny white speck of light.