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Strange Universe 1/2/22

It will be a great sky year, so let’s get a sneak preview. Start now, the next clear evening. There’s Venus, the Evening Star, still close to its absolute brightest as it hovers low above the sunset point in the fading dusk. Steadily-braced binoculars or any small telescope will reveal its crescent shape, now bigger yet thinner than any time this year. It’s the best time to see it.

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  • The moon is now at its very best — and strangest — of the year. Learn about the upcoming lunar phase and how the sunlight illuminates its central craters and mountains from a low angle, which is perfect to reveal optimum detail.
  • Next week crescent Moon will join Venus just as that nearest-of-all-planets stands at its very brightest of the year.