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Stunning Photo: Luna Snuggles With Goddess of Love

THe crescent moon and Venus shine through ta natural rock arch in Valley of Fire, Nevada after dusk on December 5, 2013.  Credit: Brad Goldpaint
The crescent moon and Venus shine through a natural rock arch in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, after dusk on December 5, 2013. Credit: Brad Goldpaint, goldpaintphotography.com

The waxing crescent moon appears to play peek-a-boo with the planet Venus through a natural rock arch in this dramatic snapshot taken in Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.

Sky-watchers this week got to see Earth’s lone natural satellite glide past the second planet from the sun in the southwestern skies. The two worlds appeared to reach their closest in the sky (known as a conjunction) at dusk on December 5, when this photograph was taken. At the time the two brightest objects in the night sky were separated by only 6 degrees—little more than the width of your fist at arm’s length.

As of Friday, December 6, the moon will appear to have risen higher in the evening sky, to the far upper left of Venus.

“My goal was to capture a conjunction of the crescent moon and Venus against the backdrop of ancient red sandstone formations,” explains astrophotographer Brad Goldpaint in an email to National Geographic News.

“Barely visible to the right of the moon is a shaft of light penetrating the night sky from the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas.”

Follow Andrew Fazekas, the Night Sky Guy, on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. #prettygirl101
    May 22, 2014, 2:09 pm

    I think Romeo and Juliet,is a sad story. WHO AGREES????

  2. Sarah Arnold
    January 4, 2014, 7:12 pm

    Those beauties in the picture are like romeo and Juliet,they will always be together.

  3. Debi Kermeen
    December 12, 2013, 3:04 pm

    So beautiful! LOVE it

  4. gu
    December 9, 2013, 11:27 pm

    好美啊!摄影师肯定很享受吧~Sorry! my english is poor, I don’t know how to express my feeling exactly, but I love everything in this photo, it’s so beautiful.

  5. Vicky
    December 9, 2013, 10:19 pm

    Add the Dramatized CD recording of article by native speakers in American or British English will be better!

  6. tshikos
    December 9, 2013, 3:20 am

    this the reality

  7. Madeleine de Larrain Ross
    Marbella Spain
    December 6, 2013, 9:25 pm

    Stunning photo!! I was mesmerised tonight by the beauty of crescent moon and Venus, visible from here in southern Spain. Thank you for photo.

  8. David Ridge
    December 6, 2013, 9:08 pm

    UH, that is not a crescent moon, it is a full moon!