A Waning Crescent Moon rose over the eastern horizon in the wee morning hours, casting its faint glow over the planet. And as the Moon climbed higher into the sky, a particularly bright light could be seen to the right of it. The celestial bodies passed near the Beehive Cluster, right above the eastern horizon.
One stargazer said: “Great Crescent Moon early this AM with a very bright star very close in the eastern sky.”
Another person tweeted: “There was an impressive looking Crescent Moon next to a bright star or planet this morning.
“Thought I’d give my new astronomy app a test run to find out what it was.
“It showed me loads of objects thousands of light-years away, but not the Moon! Probably only an alien UFO anyway.”
What is the bright light near the Moon tonight?
Look above the northeastern horizon near 3am BST (September 15) and you will see a bright source of light neat the Crescent Moon.
The two objects will trail an arch, climbing up into the eastern sky until sunrise.
And although at first glance, the bright light might look like a star, it is actually the planet Venus.
After the Sun and the Moon, the second planet from the Sun is the third brightest object visible from Earth.
You might even glimpse these bright bright beauties after sunrise
Bruce McClure, EarthSky.org
Astronomer Bruce McClure of EarthSky.org said: “On the mornings of September 13, 14 and 15, 2020, look for the Waning Crescent Moon and dazzling planet Venus in the east before sunrise.
“If you have very good vision, you might even glimpse these bright bright beauties after sunrise, in a blue daytime sky.
“After all, the Moon and Venus rank as the second – and third – brightest bodies to light up the sky – after the Sun.”
When viewing from London, the Sun will rise tomorrow morning at 6.35am BST.
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Why is Venus so bright at night?
Venus is the third brightest object in our night skies and has in the past been mistaken for a star.
Because the planet appears in the mornings and evenings at different times of the year, it is sometimes dubbed the Evening Star and Morning Star.
And the reason why Venus is so bright is because of the thick clouds and gases that blanket the planet.
Astronomers estimate up to 70 percent of the sunlight that falls on the planet is bounced back into space.
The dense coverage is also the reason why we cannot see the planet’s surface from Earth.
The US space agency NASA said: “The atmosphere of Venus is made up mainly of carbon dioxide, and thick clouds of sulfuric acid completely cover the planet.
“The atmosphere traps the small amount of energy from the Sun that does reach the surface along with the heat the planet itself releases.
“This greenhouse effect has made the surface and lower atmosphere of Venus one of the hottest places in the solar system.”
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