An impressive crescent moon shines in the southwestern sky along with brilliant Venus and Saturn as seen from the Chicago area this evening at 8 p.m. CDT. (Click the image to see it larger.) Venus is low in the sky perhaps hiding in the trees for many observers. Dimmer Saturn is 10 degrees to the upper left of Venus with the moon about 14 degrees to the upper left of Venus. Watch the moon during the next few evenings as it moves away (farther east) from the planetary pair and grows in phase (a waxing moon). Meanwhile Venus gets closer to Saturn during the month.
Venus passes Saturn on September 19 and the star Zubenelgenubi on September 23. Venus maintains a low altitude in the sky, setting about 90 minutes after sunset throughout September. During October it sets about 2 hours after sunset. By December it sets nearly 3 hours after sunset, making a bright spectacle in a dark western sky. (On December 5, the moon passes about 7 degrees to the upper left on Venus.)
Click here to see a description of Venus as an Evening Star.
For more September sky events, click here.