SAN DIEGO — The waning crescent moon accompanied by a bright Venus could be seen levitating over the San Diego region early Thursday morning.
For those who rise before dawn, this celestial attraction could have been awarded for beating the sun to a new day.
The moon and Venus hung about one-quarter of the way up into atmosphere as seen from Earth around 5 a.m., however, visibility of the pairing started around 3 a.m. across North America.
According to space.com, an online publication focused on astronomy and skywatching, the waning crescent moon was 15% illuminated by the sun during that time.
Sitting less than a degree to its right, space.com explained that Venus was “‘blazing at magnitude -4.4 or 15 times brighter than Sirius” — the brightest star in the night sky.
Some morning commuters may have even been able to see what painter Leonardo da Vinci described as “the old moon in the young moon’s arms.” Also known as Earthshine, this describes the faint bluish-gray light from the Earth that’s reflected back to the moon.
To explain this further, the full globe of the moon could be seen Thursday morning with its darkened portion glowing with a bluish-gray hue. That color was interposed between the sunlit crescent and not much darker sky, space.com. explained.
This moment has even been described as “the moon smiling at Venus.” Can you see it?