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by Lynn Hayes. This is written for Eastern time zone – please adjust accordingly for your own part of the world.
(1) Venus is at maximum brightness: magnitude -4.6. The planet is twenty times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. It is so luminous that it can actually shine through thin clouds and cast subtle shadows on the ground.
(2) As seen from North America, the Moon-Venus separation is only a little more than 1o. Stick up your thumb and hold it out at arm’s length. Venus and the Moon will fit comfortably behind the thumb-tip. Tight conjunctions like this are the most beautiful of all.
(3) Not only is the Moon a crescent, but so is Venus. A small telescope pointed at the glittering planet will reveal a slender 20%-illuminated disk.
The article goes on to explain why Venus is brightest when it’s in the crescent phase. Because astrology views the planets from our perspective on Earth, I would argue that unlike the Moon, whose effect on humans is stronger when in the Full phase when it is opposite the Sun, Venus has a stronger effect when it is brightest.