How to see Venus shining with the moon tonight

Tonight (Feb. 27), as darkness is falling, be sure to look toward the west-southwest sky to spot another beautiful celestial tableau formed by a lovely crescent moon and the brilliant planet Venus.

Venus will appear to hover far to the right of the moon. The objects will be separated by about 6.5 degrees. The width of your clenched fist held at arm’s length measures roughly 10 degrees, so, Venus and the moon will appear a bit more than a half fist apart.

These Venus-moon rendezvous occur on roughly a monthly schedule. If Venus were stationary and did not appear to move against the star background, a Venus-moon encounter would occur every 27 days, 7 hours and 43 minutes.

This is called a “sidereal month,” which is the length of time it takes the moon to circle Earth once using the background stars as a reference point.

Because Venus and the moon were together on Jan. 28, we might have expected a return engagement this past Monday (Feb. 24) if we tried to apply the “sidereal month rule” to this schedule.

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