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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

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Moon near Mercury and Venus December 24

Moon near Mercury and Venus: Green ecliptic line with 2 planets and moon near horizon, Saturn higher.
After sunset, the thin waxing crescent moon is low in the sky with Mercury and Venus nearby. The trio forms a lovely triangle with the best views around 30 to 40 minutes after sunset. Once the sun is below the horizon, start looking for the moon near Mercury and Venus. Binoculars might help. The glow you see on the darkened side of the moon is earthshine. Chart via John Jardine Goss/ EarthSky.

Our charts are mostly set for the northern half of Earth. To see a precise view from your location, try Stellarium Online.

The moon near Mercury and Venus December 24

We lost Venus to the sun’s glare starting in October this year, after the brightest planet dominated the morning in early 2022. Then, Mercury recently disappeared in early November after its morning October appearance. Now, you can see the two inner planets in the evening twilight. The view is best about 30 to 40 minutes after sunset. However, if you haven’t found Mercury and Venus yet, let the waxing crescent moon be your guide to the two planets. Look for the moon in the sunset direction on December 24, 2022.

Then, once you find the thin crescent moon, look for Mercury and Venus nearby. In fact, the trio forms a nice triangle as the sky starts to darken. In the Northern Hemisphere, Venus will be closer to the horizon but brighter than Mercury, and Mercury will be closer to the moon. For Southern Hemisphere observers, the moon will be closer to Venus.

Additionally, the very thin moon will be glowing with lovely earthshine. It sounds like a great photo op to me.

Check out the 2023 EarthSky lunar calendar. A unique and beautiful poster-sized calendar showing phases of the moon every night of the year. It makes a great New Years gift.

The moon and five bright planets

But wait, there’s more! After enjoying the view of the moon, Venus and Mercury, look for Saturn, Jupiter and Mars. Seeing the moon plus all five bright planets is a special treat.

First, you’ll need a clear view from the southwestern horizon through the eastern sky. Then, look higher in the sky for a creamy, steady light. That’s the planet Saturn. Next, look south to find the brightest “star” in that area of the sky, which is the planet Jupiter. Finally, look east, where you can see brilliant Mars forming a triangle with the star clusters Pleiades and Hyades.

Bottom line: No matter where you live worldwide, let the thin crescent moon be your guide to Mercury and dazzling Venus on the evening of December 24, 2022.

For more great observing events in the coming weeks, visit EarthSky’s night sky guide

Read more about seeing all five bright planets

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