What is the brightest object in the night sky?


Quick Answer

The moon is the brightest and most easily visible object in the night sky. Unlike stars, the moon doesn't actually produce any light but reflects light from the sun. The moon's brightness changes periodically, depending on its phases.

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Full Answer

Only the half of the moon that faces the sun receives sunlight, but this lit side of the moon is not always visible from the Earth. This process allows people to observe the moon's phases. The full moon is the brightest phase, while the new moon is the phase when little or no bright part of the moon is visible. Other bright objects that are easily visible in the night sky include Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn.

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