The moon and Venus will be this close, though in slightly different configuration, this week.

Thinkstock/Terrance Emerson

The moon and Venus will be this close, though in slightly different configuration, this week.

Earthshine Tints Moon’s Shy Side During Pre-Dawn Tryst With Venus

Venus and the moon cannot stay away from one another, and they are at it again this week, this time in the pre-dawn sky.

Just as the barest hint of sunlight begins to glimmer in the east on the morning of Thursday March 27, the shy crescent moon will hover near Venus’s blazing point of light.

“They’ll be worth getting up for—the brightest and second-brightest orbs of nighttime—near each other on the sky’s dome,” reports Earthsky.org.

Early risers will be treated to a bonus as well: Mother Earth will bounce her own dose of sunlight back onto her little sister, illuminating what is usually the dark side of the moon. Though the crescent will be the more pronounced, the side facing away from the sun will be dimly aglow with Mother Earth’s reflected light, known as earthshine.

The two will appear again on March 28, a bit farther apart this time but still within gleaming distance. This time for viewers in the Southern Hemisphere, or even in the southern part of Turtle Island, can possibly catch a glimpse of Mercury to the lower right of the moon, so close to the horizon and the sun’s early light that it could be hard to spot, but bright enough to rival the brightest star, Earthsky.org says.

 

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