Moon | Venus | Can You Tell Which?

One of these images is of the Moon on 2 Feb 2017. The other image is of Venus on 3 Feb. Can you tell which is which? What is your reasoning?




18 thoughts on “Moon | Venus | Can You Tell Which?

  1. #2 Venus

    Right now Venus can be seen best after sunset. This means that at this moment it is considered the “evening star” because of its brilliance in the west after sunset. It will display its greatest brilliancy as the evening “star” on or near February 17.

    “Venus is brightest when those two factors combine – waning crescent, plus largest overall size of Venus’ disk – so that the greatest amount of surface area of Venus shows in our sky. Astronomers call this greatest illuminated extent.”-

    “Venus orbits the sun inside Earth’s orbit, when it goes between us and the sun it’s lighted hemisphere, or day side, is facing away from us. At such times, it’s difficult or impossible to see Venus at all.”

    In March 2017, it may be possible to see Venus as both the evening “star” and morning “star” for a few to several days, starting on or near March 20. Look in the west shortly after sunset to see Venus at dusk, and look east shortly before sunrise to view Venus at dawn (

  2. The first is Venus, I’d say. Whenever I’ve photographed the moon against a blue sky I’ve been able to pick out stuff on its surface. Yours doesn’t look that way.

  3. Hi Jim! Wonderful post. I’m not sure I would have guessed right. And I would have been guessing. I did think of you last week, because I thought you would have thought it interesting, if you hadn’t already noticed, seconds after the sun went down, and it was still bright daylight, Venus could be seen in the clear blue sky. Once you took your eyes off it, you had to search for it again. Of course it helped to have the moon up there pointing the way.It was very brilliant. Bob

    • Thanks. Keep watching Venus in the weeks ahead, as I know you will. It will get larger, but more of a crescent. That should keep the brightness about the same. It will move toward the Sun and become harder to see. It passes by the Sun late March. It becomes a morning object in April for the rest of the year.

      A photo project I’ve wanted to try to to cast a shadow with the light from Venus. I need a very dark west sky with no Moon.

      • That would be a worthy photo project. I have thought of doing the same with the Milky Way. But haven’t been able to figure out how to do it. Conditions would have to be perfect.

      • I might need to build a big cardboard light box to shield against stray light. Leave it open toward Venus and put some white paper in the other end. Point it toward Venus. Tripod mount the camera. Use an object with recognizable shape.

        I better jot down these ideas before I forget them.

      • Thats a good idea. Do you mind if I look over your shoulder and cheat off your notes.

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