The moon and Venus are in conjunction this week, but in June Venus, the morning star, will disappear, and return as evening star in October

The month ends as it began with a conjunction between the moon and Venus at dawn. The chart shows the view looking east at 0515 BST on 1 May, when the moon and Venus will both rise shortly before the sun. The moon will be a slim crescent, with just 14% of its surface illuminated. To make the most of this opportunity, start looking the morning before, when the moon will be a little further from Venus, and its crescent will be a little fatter. Make sure you have an excellent eastern horizon as the pair will not rise very high before the sun appears and washes them away. Although the moon will be gone by 2 May, Venus will remain visible in the morning sky until the middle of June. Its orbit will then carry it behind the sun, rendering it invisible throughout the summer. The planet will return to visibility in October but will appear in the evening sky, and remain there until the end of the year. The ancient Greeks named Venus differently depending on whether they saw it in the morning or evening sky. It was known as Phosphoros, the morning star, or Hesperos for evening star. Remember, never look directly at the sun, it is so bright that it can cause permanent eye damage.

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Read More Starwatch: Venus and the moon share the eastern horizon at dawn

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