Venus, Moon Before dawn on March 1, 2011 in the southeastern sky, the conjunction of the crescent Moon and the ever brilliant Venus was worth getting up early to see.

The Moon was three days prior to new phase, sometimes referred to as “the new moon in the arms of the old,” and separated from our sister planet by about 4.5 degrees.

This comely pair rose in the glow of a twilight sky behind the silhouettes of the trees beside my house. Note the earthshine — the non-illuminated portion of the Moon. It’s seemingly lit up by Venus but is in actuality a product of the Earth’s reflected sunlight. If you missed this eye-catching conjunction, stay tuned for a similar pairing on the morning of March 31. Photo taken near Keene, Ontario, Canada.