How to Best View Moon and Venus: Planet to Shine Brightly Close to the Moon at Dusk and Daytime from December 4 to 6

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By Jenalyn Villamarin | December 4, 2013 12:56 PM EST

The sky offers observers with a visual treat from December 4 to 6 with planet Venus shining at its brightest close to the Moon. The Universe Today report claims that sky watchers can notice as well the planet during daytime with the Moon as excellent guide for viewing.

The best time to view the sky display is on Thursday where the pair travels the local meridian due south of the viewers' location. "Deep in the southern hemisphere, the Moon and Venus will appear to transit to the north. This occurs right around 3:00 PM local," the report reads.

The sky display will be appearing at the low southwestern sky after local sundown for approximately 30 minutes long. To capture the Moon and planet Venus with a camera, viewers are suggested to have perfect sky conditions and adjust the DSLR camera's to the fitting manual settings for a photo op.

To best view, sky watchers can simply scan the sky to the south of with the naked eye or the use of binoculars for the shining planet Venus with high contrast and blocking the Sun out of the view necessary. Even though Venus easily appears out on a clear deep blue sky, the planet may still vanish from sight against a washed out white background.  

On Wednesday, December 4, Venus will be at the right point in its orbit where the planet's distance and angle of illumination yield its brightest light. According to the report, Venus will outshine everything in the sky except for the Sun and the Moon.

Spectators should be able to spot Venus in the sky during daylight if they look 7 degrees underneath the Moon on Thursday, December 5. In the National Geographic report, the Moon and Venus will be appearing closest to each other with barely 6 degrees of separation which is a little over the width of the viewers' three middle fingers held at arm's length.

Venus will be fully illuminated on Friday, December 6, at 2 p.m. EST. The EarthSky report recommends viewers to have an unobstructed horizon in order to spot Venus as well as Jupiter shining brightly opposite of each other at sunset.

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