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) was in geocentric longitudinal conjunction with the Sun on 2018 DEC 07 at 07:20 UT (01:20 CST).
As we approach the Winter Solstice, sighting a young crescent Moon starts to become easier than in recent months. Some sharp eyed North Americans might have attempted to spot the more than half-day-old Moon on December 7. Most observers should have had much better luck the next evening. 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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