What Is the Bright Star Under the Moon?

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The dazzling bright star near the moon is the planet Venus. The moon and Venus make up the brightest celestial pair. The paring of the two bodies usually occurs in summer, fall and early winter.

The planet Venus shines at a magnitude of -4.1, as measured on the astronomical scale of brightness, making Venus’ brightness 11 times that of the next brightest star, Sirius. According to Space.com, Venus’ distinct brightness stems from cosmic geometry. As the planet orbits the sun, humans on earth can see it illuminated from all directions. The planet is at its brightest point of illumination when it is on the far side of the sun in relation to the Earth.