As dusk darkens into night next Sunday, the patient watcher will be rewarded by a sight worth waiting for
Set a reminder on your phone for this one – it will be worth it. Just after sunset on Sunday 15 July, the moon and Venus will come into conjunction, very low in the west. Although you will need a clear horizon to see, it will be a particularly beautiful sight. Only 11% of the moon will be illuminated, making it a very slender crescent indeed. The chart shows the view looking west at 21:30 BST on Sunday. The sky will still be quite bright, but brilliant Venus will cut through the late evening twilight and guide your eye. If you can’t see the moon at first, just be patient and wait. As the sun slips lower below the horizon, the sky will darken and the sliver of illumination will gradually become visible. The conjunction takes place against the backdrop of the constellation Leo, although you will be hard pressed to see any stars. Only as Venus and the moon drop below the horizon, will the sky darken enough for the stars to shine.