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 traditional 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 be in geocentric longitudinal conjunction with the Sun on 2018 MAR 17 at 13:12 UT (08:12 CDT).
Near the time of the Vernal Equinox, sighting a very young Moon is usually easiest. North American observers with clear skies should be able to spot the 1.5-day-old Moon after sunset on Sunday, March 18. It will appear along a slightly curved line including Venus and Mercury. 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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