Astronomical Christmas

The sky joins each December to celebrate the season –or better said, cultures of the world have found the portents of the December night sky meaningful and enriching. While the original Christmas star was perhaps the alignment of Jupiter and Venus (after the Sun and Moon, the brightest objects in the sky) this December we will have Venus shine very brightly during the evening, grazing the Southwest Horizon as our own Christmas Star.

Matthew Felix Sun captured some of the magic of Venus shinning, with the moon above, in his photograph:

VenusSouthWestHorizon2013

Venus reached its “greatest illuminated extent” on December 6th, but will remain almost indistinguishably blazingly brilliant every evening as it gets closer and closer to the horizon till January 11th 2014. As it marches closer to the horizon it is not difficult to image it as a beacon marching down to Earth.

(If you are wondering, after January 11th, Venus will no longer be the Evening Star, but the Morning Star.)

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