Bright planet (?) to the NW

My daughter and I take walks every evening, although our this was later than most. Proved to be a good thing actually, as we were fortunate enough to see a very bright celestial body off to roughly the northwest at an angle of about 35 to 40% around 9:00 from the North American continent (Texas).

Like I said, we usually don’t walk this late so conceivably it’s been there for longer than this evening (duh) but an unsophisticated search of the NASA site yielded no clues as to it’s identity.

Can some kind soul provide us with a name or, even better yet, an informational link?

Most humble thanks in advance!

You were seeing Venus, a magnificent site. (Shame you didn’t see it near the crescent moon late last week)

Here’s a link to get you started.

Here’s another little site that also shows you where the planets are.

Oh my god! It’s Bronson Alpha!

Last Saturday night, a friend and I went to another friend’s house. We saw Venus and Mars as we sat in the back yard toasting marshmallows over a fire.

Most sincere thanks, Karl.

And this may be way too little information to go on but since you mentioned the proximity to the Moon, in the same part of the sky on New Years Eve 4 or 5 years ago I saw an absolutely stellar allignment of a planet in the cusp of a crescent moon.

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is not unlike how perfect it was.

Would, perchance, this have been Venus as well? Is the event too far gone to reach an educated guess or, err, educated Gauss?

There was a crescent moon visible in the evening of December 31, 2000 but no planets were quite that close.

Yes, indeed. The moon and venus were fairly close on Dec. 31, 2000. Moreover, if the pairing stood out in your mind, the non-lunar one of the pair must have been pretty bright. When you couple that with the fact that the planets and the Moon share nearly the same paths across the sky (the so-callled ecliptic), then, yes, it was almost certainly Venus and the Moon you saw.

In the first link I mentioned above, set the date to Dec 31, 2000 and the time to 6 or 7 pm. Does the relative positioning of the Moon and Venus look familiar?

I agree with cityboy916 that the moon and Venus were not that close on Dec. 31, 2000–it seems they were more than 20 degrees apart. However, two days earlier, on the 29th, they were within two degrees, and the moon would have been a young thin crescent, but I don’t think the “star” appeared close to between the tines like in lieu’s illustration.

A similar alignment would have occurred in the morning of Dec. 31, 1997, and the moon would have been fairly close to Jupiter the next evening.

A bright Mars would have been close (3 deg.) in the evening of Dec. 31, 1996, but I can’t find anything in the past ten years with any of the planets that would get close to lieu’s description.

Hey, check out the evening of Jan. 1, 2019–Venus less than a degree away from the crescent moon.

On June 8th, one of those rare celestial events that no alive today has never seen will take place: the transit of Venus. The last transit took place December 6, 1882. Half the globe will be able to see a small black dot move across the disc of the Sun. Amazingly, the next transit will take place June 6, 2012.

December 31, 2002 is the way I remember the moon and instead of a planet it must have been a star in the constellation Pegasus because it was about 9:00 (I was in the back yard shooting off fireworks). Apparently time doesn’t fly as fast as I remembered.

I’ve bookmarked this awesome site. Should have known a Doper could enable me to recreate the sky on any date and from any place. Thanks all!

Our six year old identified the bright object near the crescent moon as Venus, and went to get my binoculars to see them better. I’m impressed (she’s also been drawing diagrams of the Solar System for her own amusement. These all contain Sedna.) Sge said that she could see Mars behind Venus, but I’ll cut her some slack on that.

My astonomy program shows the moon just before new on 12/31/2002, and not visible in the early evening–and it’s in Ophiuchus. And isn’t Pegasus too far off the ecliptic for the moon to be in Pegasus? The moon was just below Pegasus on the 12/31/2000 evening.

Maybe Cal’s six year old could help me to operate the program correctly.