Looking west-northwest in mid-twilight

The waxing crescent Moon pairs up with Jupiter and Venus after sunset on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, respectively. This scene is drawn for the middle of North America but gives a good idea of the view throughout the continent. European skywatchers: move each Moon symbol a quarter of the way to the one for the previous date.

Sky & Telescope diagram.

A couple of evening sky sights are coming up that you won't want to miss! The crescent Moon forms two beautiful conjunctions with the two brightest planets during twilight Wednesday and Thursday, June 12th and 13th. The Moon meets up with Jupiter low in the west-northwest on Wednesday, then pairs with higher, brighter Venus the following night. Binoculars will give an especially grand view.

Skywatchers in the Americas get the best show. Elsewhere in the world, the Moon will appear farther from the planets at the time of evening twilight.

This is the third month in a row that the Americas have lucked out with a fine Moon-Venus conjunction; the previous ones came on April 14th and May 14th. Moon-Venus pairings are always impressive. Ancient Native Americans apparently recorded one in their rock art, and such an event may have inspired the Islamic star-and-crescent symbol. This is the last such close pairing that will take place this year.

Moon with Venus and Jupiter

One night after its close pairing with brilliant Venus (lower right) on May 14, 2002, the crescent Moon was halfway toward fainter Jupiter (upper left). This week the scene repeats, but with a thinner crescent Moon and with Jupiter and Venus having switched places.

S&T photo by Rick Fienberg.


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