The newborn moon will be hard to spot at first, but getting clearer by the day

Having chased the waning crescent moon in the morning sky last week, it is now time to look for the similarly slender crescent of the waxing moon this week. The search begins on 6 February in the evening sky, as the moon has now passed between the earth and the sun. Be warned, however, that the search will be a challenging one. The moon will only have 3% of its surface illuminated on the 6th. To stand a chance of seeing it, find somewhere with a good western horizon and note the position at which the sun sets. Then as the sky darkens keep a look out just above that position for an extremely thin crescent moon. About an hour after sunset is the optimum time. Binoculars can be used in your search but NEVER use them while the sun is above the horizon: permanent blindness can occur if you look at the sun. A day later, the chances of spotting the moon rise considerably. Our nearest celestial neighbour will now be 7% illuminated and further from the sun. The chart shows the view at 17:30 GMT on 7 February 2019. On the 8th, the moon should be unmistakable.

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Read More Starwatch: look for the waxing crescent moon just after sunset

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