In honor of today’s blue moon*—the last until July 31, 2015—I’m posting my last sliver moon sighting a full two weeks late. This time of year, an evening sliver moon is nearly impossible to see this far north unless you have a good view of the western horizon and a crystal-clear sky—and most of the time I’m 0 for 2. I must rely on my almost superhuman insomnia and finite bladder capacity to get me up before dawn, two days before the new moon, and on 15 August that’s exactly what happened. Sometime around six in the morning I got up and spied a perfect two-day sliver moon hovering above the neighbors’ huge tree silhouetted in the east, with Venus blazing away a bit higher up.
If you see the dazzling full moon tonight, also look for the Summer Triangle high and to the west (of the moon). If you orient the three bright stars to form a V, the star at the point of the V is Altair, with Deneb and Vega at the top left and right, respectively.
*The full moon occurred just before 10:00 AM EDT (13:58 GMT) August 31. If you live in North America and saw the moon last night (August 30/31) after midnight, it was closer to full then that it will be tonight.