Have you seen a bright ‘star’ gracing the southwestern sky lately? It is the brightest object after the Sun and Moon. This month, it’s impossible to overlook the brilliant planet Venus in the evening sky. During the Festive Season, it looks like a gleaming lantern hanging in the southwest, setting more than three hours after the Sun. Venus has adorned the southwestern twilight sky since early November. No other star or planet can come close to matching Venus in brilliance.
This month, Venus is the unrivaled evening star that will soar from excellent to magnificent prominence in the southwest at nightfall. It’s probably the first “star” you’ll see coming out after sunset. In fact, if the air is very clear and the sky a good, deep blue, try looking for Venus shortly before sunset. Dazzling Venus will grace the evening sky in late December and for the first part of 2020. As if to remind us of her prominence, Venus will meet with the moon as the year ends.
On the evening of December 28, the waxing crescent moon will appear in very close proximity to the brightest planet in our sky, Venus. Astronomers refer to a close celestial pair-up like this as a conjunction. Step outside and enjoy the wonderful celestial show! Look for soft glow of earthshine, with either the unaided eye or binoculars, on the dark side of the moon over the next several days.
Clear Skies Everyone!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May this time bless you with all of your heart’s desires!