Stargazing: Beautiful morning conjunction

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This week, early risers will have the opportunity to witness a striking conjunction between our "morning star" Venus and the waning crescent moon.

During the past few weeks, the moon has waxed from a very thin crescent, visible in the western sky during evening twilight on Aug. 23, to a full "blue moon" on Aug. 31. The moon has now waned to a left-sided crescent and will pass Venus in the morning sky this week before it's lost in the sun's glare, and the old moon becomes a new moon on Saturday, starting a new lunar cycle.

Look for dazzling bright Venus and the thin waning crescent moon Wednesday morning about one hour before sunrise. The stunning duo will sit about 30 degrees above the eastern horizon. The width of your clenched fist measures about 10 degrees. The thin waning crescent will be located about 4 degrees to the right of Venus. By Thursday morning, the crescent will sit about 10 degrees to the lower left of Venus.

-- By Dan Malerbo, Buhl Planetarium and Observatory

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