Starwatch: a solstice gathering of the moon, Mars and Venus


Look west to see distinctive trio in twilight of the northern hemisphere’s longest day

It is the solstice this week. On Wednesday 21 June, the sun will be at its highest position in the northern skies, giving the northern hemisphere its longest day of the year.

What better way to celebrate than to look for the beautiful thin crescent moon meeting the bright jewel of Venus – with the added bonus of Mars. The chart shows the view looking west at 10pm BST on 21 June. Few stars will be visible in the twilight but Venus will be absolutely unmistakable. Next to it will be a thin crescent moon with just 12% of its visible surface illuminated by the sun. The rest of the disc will be faintly visible as a result of sunlight reflected off Earth and on to the moon’s surface.

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