Venus and The Moon Give Us a Yuletide Treat

Last night there was a beautiful treat in the skies wherever you might have been. The waxing crescent moon was at its dimmest point in the lunar cycle allowing Venus to shine bright as it moves across our winter sky. But that’s not all! All five of the visible planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) made appearances in the Boxing Day Sky. Amazing pictures have already begun to show up on Flickr, and the science news website EarthSky has a couple great articles with pictures and more information about the extra-terrestrial events happening above our lonely little planet this week.

According to EarthSky:

The waxing crescent moon and the sky’s brightest planet, Venus, shine low in the southwest at dusk on December 26, 2011. They will be noticeable as the brightest objects in the evening twilight, but they’ll be quite low over the western horizon. Catch the moon and Venus early, for the twosome will follow the sun beneath the horizon by early evening.

The holidays, as they’re called, are often filled with commercialized gifts that sit around for a year until they’re re-gifted to another unlucky soul. But, this year for all the sky watchers and nature lovers, our solar system has given us a gift that is unrivaled by any black friday hocus-pocus. In Houston, thanks to all the light pollution, we don’t get to see as many of the night’s treasures, but the Moon and its companion Venus are bright for the eyes to see wherever you may be.

You can enjoy this interplanetary gift through the end of the week. Be sure to visit EarthSky for all of the information you need to see the night’s beauty.


(Image of Venus, Jupiter and the Crescent Moon by Dave Schumaker)


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