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What is the name of that very bright star just underneath the moon right now?
Driving home from town, on a very clear night, and the moon is a very thin crescent.

There's a bright star just below it.

What is it called?
asked in moon, star, astronomy

xoloriib answers:


Supplement from 12/01/2008 06:05pm:

The Moon, Venus and Jupiter are all in the same part of the sky (Capricorn) at the moment. Venus would be the brightest after the Moon. It may appear blue.

Supplement from 12/01/2008 09:48pm:

All three of them were close to 22 degrees Capricorn at the time you asked this question. The Moon has moved on a bit by now.

Venus appearing below the Moon is due to its declination in its orbit : that means that in its orbit around the Sun it goes up and down as well as around.

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jacquesdor answers:

If it twinkles it is a star not a planet, so possibly it is Sirius.

Supplement from 12/01/2008 06:13pm:

on the other hand. It is Venus. ( sorry Xolo)

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NinianReid answers:

I'm certainly no expert on the sky at night, but I'd say we're looking at Mars (the planet that is, not the delicious candy treat)

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tecspec answers:

Definately Venus it was on the local news in Wales. I can't find any mention on Wales BBC but have found this saying pretty much the same.

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funrunna answers:


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P-Kasso answers:

Venus - it is often the first bright object in the sky after the Moon - and was always known in ancient times as The Evening Star even though it is a planet.

They didn't know that though back in the days of yore.

It can twinkle too Jacques - but that is usually just the optical effect of hazy night clouds passing beween it and us.

Venus doesn't always hang about directly under the Moon - sometimes it is low on the evening horizon, it all depends on the season, time of year, orbit of Venus and orbit of the Moon not coinciding etc.

No link to back any of this up - just established stuff that old school teachers told me in the Dark Ages. Could probably find a link but too busy cooking ie burning food.

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