A Meeting of the Moon and Venus

Mark your calendars for June 16th 2018: the Moon and Venus will slowly get to within 2.3 degrees of each other making for a lovely sight. All you have to do is head out in the early evening just after sunset and look to the lower western horizon.  You might also catch some bright later-Winter stars as well.  Here’s the view (click to make larger):

Venus and the Moon June 16th 2018

Venus and the Moon June 16th 2018 looking west after sunset.

While you are enjoying the view, take a close look at the Moon. You might just see something special, some Earth-Shine.  When the unilluminated portion of the Moon is visible, this is due to sunlight reflected off the Earth, bouncing back to light up the Moon, and making it appear a faint eerie blue color. Binoculars will make this really prominent. Enjoy!