The Moon Shines Next to Venus and the Beehive Cluster

( Observe the fascinating trio of the thin crescent Moon, dazzling Venus, and the subtle Beehive star cluster adorning this week’s sky! )

The close approach of the Moon and Venus

The 26-day-old Moon will meet Venus on Monday, September 14, 2020, at 6:23 GMT. The waning crescent Moon and the dazzling “morning star” will pass within 4°21' of each other, shining at a magnitude of -10.6 and -4.1, respectively. The stars of the constellation Cancer will surround them on that night.

The Beehive Cluster

On September 14, 2020, the Moon and Venus will shine close to the Beehive star cluster, also known as Praesepe (Latin for “manger”) or M44. It is a group of gravitationally bound stars that were born from the same star-forming nebulae. The Beehive is one of the closest open clusters to the Solar System and includes approximately 1,000 stars. However, it’s rather faint: its brightest star is Epsilon Cancri (also called Meleph) with an apparent visual magnitude of 6.29, which is scarcely visible to the unaided eye.

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