Spring has sprung, the moon is new, and the promise of emerging life has begun to poke up from under the snow.
Into this steps the delicate crescent moon, its dark side dusted with the fairy dust of earthshine, and as it rests in the western sky on the evening of Sunday March 22 it will be flanked by brilliant, blazing Venus. We have witnessed this configuration often, but each time we catch sight of this rendezvous, we cannot tear our gaze away.
A day earlier, on Saturday March 21, the moon will warm up by edging near Mars, which will be just two moon-widths to the right of the four-percent-lit crescent, Astronomy.com tells us. But Venus will not be far, looking down on them from above. Since they will be low in the sky at dusk, it’s helpful to find an unobstructed view of the horizon, says Earthsky.org.
Because of the recently vernal equinox, the pair will be accompanied by a special glow—that of the zodiacal light, that is.
“You can double your pleasure tonight by catching the young moon and Venus at dusk and nightfall, and then the zodiacal light after dark (80 to 120 minutes after sunset)!” says Earthsky.org of March 22. “After tonight, the brightening waxing moon may start to obscure the zodiacal light.”
Keep your eyes on the skies for another day to catch the moon living it up between Venus and the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, on March 23.