You can see Venus and crescent Moon together in 'rare celestial event' tonight

VENUS and the crescent Moon will come together as a bright celestial phenomenon this evening.

According to NASA's calendar, stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere are in for a treat.

Weather permitting, you should be able to see Venus and the Moon close together as two of the brightest objects in the sky tonight.

For the best chance of observing this event you should head to an area with limited light pollution and look up to the sky in a southwesterly direction.

Venus is known as the third brightest object in the sky after the Sun and the Moon due to the way the planet's surface and atmosphere reflects sunlight.

However, it's not as commonly seen in close proximity to a crescent moon.

You should head outdoors once the Sun has set and look to the southwest horizon.

This will be the best time to see the Moon near Venus before it rises further in the sky.

The Moon will be below the Aries constellation with Venus to the side.

Don't worry if you miss out this time though.

Weather in the UK isn't great at the moment but the US has a better chance of clearer skies.

A similar event will be occurring at the end of March.

Venus is currently in the middle of an 'evening apparition', meaning it's climbing as high as it can in the sky until it reaches its greatest separation from the Sun.

This event makes Venus much more visible from Earth.

In reality, Venus will be around 84 million miles away from our planet this evening.

In contrast, the Moon will be at a distance of around 250,000 miles.

The Moon – our closest neighbour explained

Here's what you need to know…

  • The Moon is a natural satellite – a space-faring body that orbits a planet
  • It's Earth's only natural satellite, and is the fifth biggest in the Solar System
  • The Moon measures 2,158 miles across, roughly 0.27 times the diameter of Earth
  • Temperatures on the Moon range from minus 173 degrees Celcius to 260 degrees Celcius
  • Experts assumed the Moon was another planet, until Nicolaus Copernicus outlined his theory about our Solar System in 1543
  • It was eventually assigned to a "class" after Galileo discovered four moons orbiting Jupiter in 1610
  • The Moon is believed to have formed around 4.51billion years ago
  • The strength of its gravitational field is about a sixth of Earth's gravity
  • Earth and the Moon have "synchronous rotation", which means we always see the same side of the Moon – hence the phrase "dark side of the Moon"
  • The Moon's surface is actually dark, but appears bright in the sky due to its reflective ground
  • During a solar eclipse, the Moon covers the Sun almost completely. Both objects appear a similar size in the sky because the Sun is both 400 times larger and farther
  • The first spacecraft to reach the Moon was in 1959, as part of the Soviet Union's Lunar program
  • The first manned orbital mission was Nasa's Apollo 8 in 1968
  • And the first manned lunar landing was in 1969, as part of the Apollo 11 mission

In other space news, Earth may have a brand new "mini moon" after gravity yanked an asteroid into orbit.

A large planet outside of our Solar System may have "the right conditions for life".

And, a stunning image of the Moon, Mars and the International Space Station has been revealed by Nasa.

Are you a big stargazing fan? Let us know in the comments…

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