This morning, November 9, locals and travellers looking up from Iceland saw an unusually beautiful sight: Venus and the Moon, the two brightest objects in the night sky, side by side. The phenomenon was visible to the naked eye while the sun was rising between 9:00 and 10:00 AM this morning. The Moon then passed “in front” of Venus, which appeared once more from behind it just before 10:00 AM.
The Moon and Venus meet in this way once a month, according to astronomer Sævar Helgi Bragason, who runs a popular Icelandic astronomy website, Stjörnufræðivefurinn. The phenomenon will occur next on the morning of December 9, but the two celestial bodies will be much further from each other than they were this morning. By early January, Venus will have dropped so low in the sky that its meeting with the Moon will no longer be visible from Iceland.
The Moon is not meeting Venus exclusively these days, however. On the morning of November 20, it will appear near Saturn, and on the morning of November 25, it will be seen close to Jupiter. It remains to be seen whether the sky above Iceland will be clear enough to view these celestial trysts.