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Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2009 March 6
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Crescent Moon and Venus
Credit & Copyright: Drew Sullivan (Ancient Starlight)

Explanation: Last Friday, the Moon and Venus shared the early evening sky in a beautiful conjunction. Separated by only about 2 degrees, they also were both in a crescent phase. Just like our Moon, Venus can appear as a full disk or a thin crescent. Frequently the brightest object in the post-sunset or pre-sunrise sky, Venus is so small that it usually requires binoculars or a small telescope to clearly see its phase. This telescopic image of Friday's conjunction shows off the similar crescent phases, with the tiny crescent Venus at the upper right.


Tomorrow's picture: comet and galaxy


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