This stunning celestial scene shows the Moon, Venus, and the Pleiades star cluster shining above Arizona.
Astrophotographer B.G. Boyd took this image from Tucson, Arizona on June 24, 2014.
This close encounter occurred just before sunrise when the waning crescent moon was three days before new phase. A few degrees above and to the left is the dazzling planet Venus. (Your fist held at arm's length measures about 10 degrees.)
In the coming weeks, Venus will follow the sun across the constellations Taurus and Gemini, appearing to rise at — or just a little before — the break of dawn.
A wider image by Boyd also shows the “seven sisters” or Pleiades star cluster. Comprising 800 stars, the cluster formed about 100 million years ago and is located 410 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. One light-year is the distance light travels in a single year, which is about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).
“Wider shot of the moon and Venus this morning with some foreground so you can get a better idea of how close they were! Also seen in this photograph is a favorite star cluster, The Pleiades,” Boyd wrote on his Facebook page.
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