This morning, sky gazers were treated to a stunning display as Venus, the crescent moon, and the star Regulus gathered in the eastern sky before sunrise. Venus and Saturn are also at opposition, meaning they are 180° apart in the sky. However, while Venus is bright enough to shine through the haze near the horizon, Saturn’s visibility is greatly affected.
Venus, the queen of the morning sky, shines brightly about 30° above the horizon, outshining all starlike bodies in the sky. It can easily be mistaken for lights on an airplane due to its brilliance. Regulus, the brightest star in Leo, is 2.4° to the upper left of Venus. This morning, the moon was 16% illuminated and appeared 5.9° to the upper left of Venus. Earthshine, the sunlight reflected from Earth’s oceans, clouds, and land, gently illuminated the night portion of the moon.
These gatherings of Venus, the moon, and Regulus are quite frequent in the upcoming years. In 2024, they will fit into a circle 2.6° in diameter in the evening sky. On August 5th of that year, Venus will be less than 5° above the horizon at thirty minutes after sunset.
In 2025, on September 19th, the three celestial bodies will fit into a circle only 1.3° in diameter, creating a breathtaking sight. The following year, on July 16th, they will fit into a 7.8° circle, extending beyond the field of view of binoculars.
In the evening sky, Mars is not visible, while Saturn appears in the southeastern sky about an hour after sunset. Jupiter rises about 68 minutes after nightfall and can be seen in the east-northeast about an hour later.
It is always a treat to witness these celestial gatherings and be reminded of the beauty and vastness of our universe.
(Source: Article source)