Summer Solstice: Venus, Mars, Moon to light up the twilight sky: Date, when and how to watch


The summer solstice, which falls on June 21, usually marks a significant celestial event with the sun reaching its highest point in the Northern Hemisphere. However, this year, stargazers are in for a special treat as Venus, Mars, and a slender crescent moon make a captivating appearance in the evening twilight of the solstice.

Observers in North and South America, according to When The Curves Line Up, won’t witness such a close alignment of the three celestial bodies until March 28, 2028. 

The solstice week offers multiple opportunities to enjoy the twilight sky, with the added delight of witnessing the Da Vinci glow, also known as Earthshine, where sunlight reflects off the Earth onto the dark side of the waxing crescent moon.

When to watch

On June 19, keen observers equipped with stargazing binoculars could look towards the low western horizon during twilight to catch a glimpse of the slim crescent moon, which was just over 3% illuminated.

On June 20, a slightly brighter and higher crescent moon will join bright Venus and dim Mars to form a striking alignment in the sky. The moon will be nearly 8% illuminated, showcasing vivid Da Vinci glow on its darkened portion, LiveScience reported.

The most captivating view of the three celestial bodies will be on June 21, following the onset of the summer solstice. suggests that a right-angle triangle will form between Mars, Venus, and a 13% illuminated crescent moon. Spotting the relatively dim Mars without binoculars or a small telescope may prove challenging, but the recurring Da Vinci glow on the moon will certainly capture attention.

On June 22, stargazers will be treated to another remarkable sight as a 21% illuminated crescent moon aligns once again with Mars and Venus, this time positioned above the pair. Furthermore, the moon will be in close proximity to Regulus, a star in the constellation Leo.

How to watch

While these celestial phenomena can be observed with the naked eye, the use of stargazing binoculars or a telescope will provide a breathtaking close-up view of the Da Vinci glow on the lunar surface, enhancing the experience for avid sky gazers.


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Updated: 21 Jun 2023, 12:30 PM IST

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