See Venus swing by the crescent moon Monday morning

In the predawn morning sky on Monday (Sept. 14), a phenomenal celestial sight will possible appeal to a number of consideration for early risers. Just a few hours earlier than dawn, low above the east-northeast horizon you will see a slender sliver of a waning crescent moon. And positioned to its left you will see a blinding, silvery-white “star” shining with a gentle glow.  That might be the planet Venus, shining at an eye-popping magnitude of -4.2 (13 instances brighter than Sirius, the brightest star) from a distance of 88.eight million miles (142.eight million kilometers) from Earth.   Venus dominates the heavens from the time it comes up over the horizon just a little north of due east round Three a.m. native daylight time; practically 4 hours earlier than the solar and some two hours earlier than the first gentle of daybreak. Its brightness places neighboring stars — even its closest rival at that hour, topaz-colored Mars, which might be driving excessive in the southwest sky — to disgrace. Related: The brightest planets in September’s night time sky: How to see them (and when)So it’s that on Monday morning, the moon and Venus, the two brightest objects of the nighttime sky might be separated by about 5 levels. Your clenched fist held at arm’s size measures roughly 10 levels, so on Monday morning, the moon and planet might be a couple of “half fist” aside.  What will make this engaging scene much more engaging might be “Earthshine,” the place the unilluminated portion of the moon will appear to glow dimly with an eerie blue-gray gentle. First described by Leonardo da Vinci in his “Codex Leicester,” circa 1510, this mysterious glow is brought on by daylight mirrored off the oceans and cloud tops of Earth, directed towards the moon.The moon might be solely 12% illuminated by the solar; a slender, yellow-white sliver contrasting with the blue-gray portion of the remainder of the lunar disk giving it a placing three-dimensional look, particularly in binoculars. And as the morning progresses, the moon and Venus will climb nicely up into the jap sky. In spite of the incontrovertible fact that Venus was at best elongation (most angular separation) from the Sun on Aug. 12, this dazzling planet seems even increased in the sky throughout this month.  In reality, Venus is now at the peak of its highest morning apparition (for skywatchers at mid-northern latitudes) — about 40 levels (“four fists”) excessive at every September dawn.  And as a bonus, Venus may even slide 2.25 to 2.5 levels south of the middle of the well-known Beehive star cluster (M44) in the constellation of Cancer, the crab, from Saturday by Monday morning (Sept. 12-14), a really fairly sight in binoculars. Sunrise or late in morning twilight is the finest time to check Venus in telescopes. Telescopically, nonetheless, Venus is now only a tiny, featureless and more and more gibbous disk.  By month’s finish Venus may have descended to inside 5 levels of the vivid star Regulus, which it would go very near on Oct. 3. We’ll have extra to say about that early subsequent month.  Stay tuned!Joe Rao serves as an teacher and visitor lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for Natural History journal, the Farmers’ Almanac and different publications. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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