Great Venus Viewing in the Early Morning

Below is from

“Before daybreak on July 16, 17, 18 and 19, 2020, look east! You’ll see the two brightest objects of nighttime, the moon and the planet Venus, near each other. These two bright worlds will be hard to miss. Some people who are looking carefully might even continue to see them after sunrise. There’s another planet shown on the chart above: Mercury. It’s harder to find. You’ll find more about finding Mercury below.

Watch for the soft glow of earthshine illuminating the dark or night portion of the moon. Earthshine is twice-reflected sunlight. From the moon right now, Earth appears as a large gibbous sphere (more than half lighted but less than full). It’s big and bright in the lunar sky. Just as moonlight illuminates our earthly landscape when our moon is large and nearly full, so this nearly full Earth illuminates the lunar landscape. It’s this light that causes the glow of earthshine, visible whenever the moon is a crescent.

If you have a telescope, you know that Venus is in a crescent phase now, too. We’d love to see your photos. You can submit a photo to EarthSky here.”


Categories: Weather Blog