It’s a challenge every month to spot the New Moon after sunset by naked eye (or eyeglasses) as early as possible. I use the term New Moon in its classical sense of one’s first sighting of the Moon after its monthly solar conjunction (Dark Moon). The Dark Moon (which some call New Moon) will in geocentric longitudinal conjunction with the Sun on 2018 JUN 13 at 19:43 UT (14:43 CDT).
During the half year prior to the Summer Solstice, sighting a very young Moon is usually easiest. Many North American observers with clear skies should be able to spot the crescent Moon aged more than a day after sunset on Thursday, June 14. See my New Moon Spotting graphics listed above.
Also above is a link to a panorama including all Diana’s Bows in 2018. Those are waxing crescent Moons about 10% illuminated and aged about three days. The name is a reference to the archery equipment of the ancient Roman Goddess of Hunting and the Moon. The graphic nicely illustrates how the season of the year affects the viewing of a waxing crescent Moon.
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