November 7, 2021: During the early evening Venus and the moon group together in the southwest.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
On the evening of November 7, brilliant Venus and the crescent moon appear together low in the southwestern sky.
Each month, the moon passes the closest planet to Earth. Whether in the morning sky or evening sky, they make a photogenic pair.
This evening the crescent moon, 13% illuminated, is 3.9° to the lower right of Venus.
Look for a gentle glow on the moon’s night portion. This is reflected sunlight from Earth’s oceans, clouds, and land, known as earthshine.
Recently, the American Geophysical Union reported research, led by Philip Goode at California’s Big Bear Observatory, shows that Earth is about 0.5% less reflective than at the beginning of the century. This could be attributed to a reduction of bright, reflective low-lying clouds over the eastern Pacific Ocean in the most recent years. This could be attributed to global changes in weather and climate.
Earth is the sixth most reflective planet in the solar system. This is known as the planet’s albedo. Our world reflects about 37% of the sunlight that falls on it. Venus, the planet with the highest albedo, reflects 65% of the inbound sunlight, while Jupiter reflects 52% and Saturn, 47%.
Photographers can capture earthshine with tripod mounted cameras with exposures ranging to several seconds, depending on the camera’s settings.
This image from earlier this year shows the moon, 9% illuminated, with earthshine.
Farther eastward, Saturn – about 35° to the upper left of Venus – is about one-third of the way up in the south. Bright Jupiter is 15.5° to the upper left of the Ringed Wonder.
- 2023, December 19: A Scorpion Fumble, Moon MidwayDecember 19, 2023: Before sunrise, Venus appears below the Scorpion’s claws. After sundown, the moon is nearly midway from Saturn to Jupiter.
- 2023, December 18: Pinched VenusDecember 18, 2023: Look for Venus between the Scorpion’s claws in the southeast before sunrise. The thick crescent moon is in the evening sky with Jupiter and Saturn.
- 2023, December 17: Celestial PairsDecember 17, 2023: Before sunrise, Venus passes Zubenelgenubi, a planet-star conjunction. After sundown, Saturn and crescent moon are paired, a planet-moon conjunction.
- 2023, December 16: Venus Clawed, Evening Crescent Nears SaturnDecember 16, 2023: Before daybreak, Venus is above the Scorpion’s southern claw. After nightfall, the crescent moon nears Saturn.
- 2023, December 15: Brilliant Morning Star, Evening Lunar CrescentDecember 15, 2023: Before sunrise, brilliant Venus approaches Zubenelgenubi, the Scorpion’s southern claw. The crescent moon returns to the western evening sky.