As the legendary line goes, "that's no moon" :) Slender crescent of Venus photographed with DSLR & 500mm telephoto lens through thin clouds, immediately after sunset. 8 days later, the planet performed a transit -- passed in front of the Sun, a show that won't happen again for more than a century.

Both Venus and Mercury show phases, as viewed from Earth. When Venus is apparently close to the Sun (in Earth's sky), its phase can be seen quite easily, not only because it's a crescent -- Venus appears the largest at that time, i.e. it has the greatest angular diameter. When it's farther away from the Sun in the evening or morning sky it is blazingly bright, unmistakable for any other celestial object, but its phase is gibbous and not always easy to observe.

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