About an hour and a half before sunset on Thursday (Aug. 25), Venus will shine close to the old moon in the early-evening sky.
The waning crescent moon will pass a mere 4°17′ to the north of the bright planet Venus. This close encounter, or conjunction, occurs at 4:58 p.m. EDT (20:58 GMT), when the two objects share the same right ascension or the same ecliptic longitude, according to In-the-Sky.org (opens in new tab).
The moon is currently shining at a magnitude of -8.4, while Venus shines with a magnitude of -3.9. Despite their close encounter, the pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope. However, they will be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.
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The pair is currently located in the constellation Cancer, joined by the dwarf planet Ceres, which appears smack dab between the moon and Venus.
While the moon’s close encounter of Venus officially occurs at 4:58 p.m. EDT (2058 GMT) this evening, the pair was visible close together this morning in the predawn sky at 4:56 a.m. EDT (0856 GMT), about 1 hour and 17 minutes before sunrise.
Unfortunately, the pair rose only 9° above the eastern horizon before fading to the rising sun, making the two objects difficult to spot in the predawn sky. And, at 28 days old, the waning crescent moon appears only 4% lit.
If you miss this close encounter of Venus and the moon, you’ll have another chance to catch the pair when they meet up again before the end of the year on Dec. 25.
If you’re hoping to capture a good photo of the conjunction, or another upcoming skywatching event, check out our guide for best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography. You can also check out our guide for the best binoculars to spot both the moon and Venus in the sky.