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The Moon, Venus Come Together And Make An Amazing Sight To See

Jul 16, 2018 09:56 PM EDT
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The moon and Venus has paired up for one night, making for a striking display in the evening sky on Sunday, July 15.

Earthbound skywatchers got a treat with the close encounter as the two celestial bodies appear to float within just inches away from each other in certain places.

Moon, Venus Snuggle For A Night

When two of the planet's closest neighbors orbit close to each other, it's sure to be a stunning sight from Earth, since the moon and Venus appear bright enough to see with the naked eye on most nights.

The unique date between the two objects is visible from the entire United States, but it appears much closer as one goes farther west in North America.

While the moon and Venus — often called the Evening Star for being the brightest "star" in the sky at night — appear strangely close together from Earth's perspective, the two are actually incredibly far apart. Sky and Telescope notes that the moon currently hangs about 224,000 miles away from Earth, while Venus is 400 times more distant at 88 million miles away.

Just a few days after the new moon, the moon is in its early stages and appears very thin. However, the dark side of the moon is actually faintly visible as the sky gets darker. This is due to the glow from Earth's own light, a phenomenon that's known as "earthshine."

Other cosmic bodies also lingered near the duo during their rare meet-up such as the star Regulus and even Mercury.

For those who missed the closest encounter of the moon and Venus last Sunday, don't fret. According to USA Today, the pairing will continue for a couple more nights, before drifting farther and farther away.

Citizen Astronomers Share Photos

With the cosmic event visible even without special equipment, the public was free to view and capture the close encounter to their heart's content.

In social media, there were plenty of striking photos of the moon and Venus' date that can be enjoyed by those who weren't able to step out for the momentous occasion.

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