If you’re in North or South America, right after sunset, look close to the southwestern horizon, just as it is beginning to get dark. The Moon will be in what is known as a “waxing crescent.” That means that the portion of the Moon, which is reflecting the light from the Sun, is a thin crescent which will be growing over the coming nights. Venus and Jupiter are the two bright objects just below, or the West of the Moon. Venus is the brighter of the two objects.
Regretfully, if you’re in Europe - you have a problem. The Moon will have occulted, or will have moved in front of Venus. So the single bright object which you see next to the Moon is Jupiter. Still pretty cool! Sorry, but for you, Venus doesn’t move from behind the Moon until after they have all set.
If you’re in the Far East, Venus and Jupiter will be just above, or East of, the crescent Moon before it sinks toward the western horizon.
If you’re in Madagascar, or southeastern Africa, you get to see the coolest of all. Depending upon where you are, you get to see the Moon occult both Venus and Jupiter. It is possible that you may even see Venus and Jupiter skim the edges of the Moon as they pass behind it.
Now for an appearing non sequitur: When I was in college, in that tender age when dinosaurs ruled the world, my History Professor’s maiden name was that of one of the great European royal houses. She opened my eyes to aspects of history that had never occurred to this naïve little Southern girl. It had never occurred to me that “that” treaty, which put and end to “that” war, was signed because: Oh My! Great Aunt Sophie went to bed with King Biggy the night before! Goodness only knows who else Great Aunt Sophie went to bed with. But, goodness only knows how many lives Great Aunt Sophie may have saved.
Bringing this bit of nonsense into focus, and just as a bit of fun speculation, let’s consider what the Ancients would have thought of this event. To the Ancients, the Planets (or Wanderers), the Moon, and the Sun were gods, and their godlike movements influenced our humanlike lives on Earth. Jupiter, in the Western Mythological Tradition, was always associated with the king of the gods (King Biggy). Venus (Great Aunt Sophie) was generally associated with erotic love; and the Moon with Diana/Artemis (your guess is as good as mine), and the hunt and childbirth. What would possibly be going on when these three got together? Which room of the house were they in? What were they talking about? How was it going to affect my insignificant, uncertain world? Food for some interesting stories, huh?
Start watching tonight and follow the developments as Venus, Jupiter and the Moon grow closer together each night. May your skies be clear.
Writing Science Fiction Romance