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November 07, 2023

Look for Venus in the sky next to crescent moon early Thursday morning

The best time to see the second planet from the sun and the Earth's natural satellite will be before sunrise

Early risers are in for an astronomical treat on Thursday morning. If skies are clear, Venus will appear next to the waning crescent moon.

In some parts of Europe, viewers may spot the moon passing directly in front of Venus. By the time the objects are visible here on the East Coast, Venus and the moon will appear very close to one another.

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Venus will be visible just to the upper-right of the moon at 4 a.m., according to Astronomy MagazineAs the morning continues, the moon and Venus will stay closely paired, but the objects will rise higher in the sky.

Stargazers hoping to see the phenomenon should head outside to a location with an unobstructed view and look at the sky to the northeast for the bright shine of Venus. Binoculars may come in handy. 

Viewers may also be able to see a phenomenon known as Earthshine, which is when the unlit portion of the crescent moon glows with an eerie bluish-gray color.

Venus — the hottest planet in our solar system, sometimes called Earth's twin due to its size and structure — glows throughout the month of November, rising about four hours before the sun does each day. It is different from our planet in that it spins backward, has a surface temperature that can melt lead and experiences no seasons. As its orbit is closer to the sun than ours, from Earth's view, Venus and the sun are fairly close together in the sky.

This weekend, there also may be visible meteor shower that will be peak between Sunday and Monday. The best way to view the Southern Taurids meteor shower is by spotting Jupiter at night and observing the surrounding sky.

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