During the past week, nightfall on planet Earth has featured Mars, Saturn, and Spica in a lovely conjunction near the western horizon. Still forming the corners of a distinctive celestial triangle after sunset and recently joined by a crescent Moon, they are all about the same brightness but can exhibit different colors to the discerning eye. Image credit: Phil Hart, Shooting Stars eBook
The photo above shows Brush Creek rushing across a wide beach at low tide near Port Orford, Oregon. It was snapped at the base of Humbug Mountain a little past sunset on November 28, 2011. Venus and the waxing crescent Moon are conspicuous in the twilight sky. Photographer Randy Scholten; Randy’s Web site
This slender crescent Moon was recorded at a tender age of 34 hours and 18 minutes. Well, OK … when calculating the lunar age during a lunation or complete cycle of phases – from New Moon to Full Moon and back to New Moon again – the Moon never gets more than around 29.5 days old. Photographer Stefan Seip.
The photo above shows a gathering of planets and the waning crescent Moon as captured from Tivoli, Namibia in Africa, just before dawn on May 30, 2011. The “Big Five” in Africa refers to the top five big game animals; lion, leopard, rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, and elephant. Photographer: Eduard von Bergen.