Venus is seen next to the crescent moon during the daytime, prior to the start of occultation, on 7 December 2015 in Washington, D.C. in the United States. The moon occulted, or passed in front of, Venus for the second time this year.
Now that planet Saturn is effectively lost in the dusk twilight for UK-based observers, you may be wondering what has happened to the other four bright naked-eye planets. Far from disappearing, they have just transferred to the morning sky. From 8—11 October, the waning crescent Moon acts as a guide to Venus, Mars, Jupiter then Mercury in the eastern dawn sky.
The European Space Agency’s Venus Express spacecraft has found the best evidence yet for active volcanism on Earth’s neighbour planet. Seeing the planet’s surface is extremely difficult due to its thick atmosphere, but radar observations by previous missions to Venus have revealed it as a world covered in volcanoes and ancient lava flows.