Venus and crescent Moon to pair up at dawn on Feb 28th, March 1st

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WASHINGTON - In the early dawn of Monday, February 28th, and Tuesday, March 1st, 2011, Venus and the eerie waning crescent Moon will create an arresting sky scene low in the southeast.

“These are the two brightest astronomical objects in the sky after the Sun. They’ll certainly catch your eye, if you look low in the southeast about 60 to 40 minutes before sunrise - weather permitting,” said Alan MacRobert, a senior editor of Sky and Telescope magazine.

Venus will be shining to the Moon’s lower left on the morning of Monday Feb. 28th. The next morning Venus will be to the Moon’s right or upper right.

Although they look close together, they’re not. Venus is currently 400 times farther away than the Moon. It’s at a distance of 8.8 light-minutes compared to the Moon’s distance of 1.3 light-seconds.

And despite appearances, Venus is 3-1/2 times wider than the Moon’s diameter.

“Why do people care about this Because some people know we need to look up beyond our own little world and recognize where we are as part of nature, part of the universe. So many of us live our busy little ant-hill lives without ever noticing the gigantic universe beyond the anthill. A lot of people don’t even know you can see alien planets from your driveway while you’re unlocking the car to go to work,” said MacRobert. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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