QCT photographer featured by NASA

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Photo: Jay Ouellet

Jay Ouellet's photograph of the planet Venus in its crescent phase (upper right) was featured on NASA's APOD blog on New Year's Day.

The United State's National Aeronautics and Space Administration publishes an internationally-appreciated space photography blog called Astronomy Picture of the Day, also known as APOD. QCT photographer Jay Ouellet explained, "this blog is famous."

Ouellet is in a position to know, as one of his images was chosen for APOD's New Year's Day 2014 photo. The caption accompanying the picture notes that the glowing crescent (thumbnail-shaped) object in the upper right corner is not actually the moon. Instead, it is the planet Venus, which is one of the first celestial bodies visible as the sun sets each evening.

In fact, Venus has phases, like those of the moon, including this highly-recognizable crescent phase. According to NASA, "the next few evenings will see a young crescent Moon join the crescent Venus in the western twilight." For readers brave enough to stargaze midwinter, a double-crescent view will be visible for several days. Ouellet said, "Venus can easily be seen with the naked eye low in the West just after sunset. It's the brightest 'star' in the sky, and the crescent can also be seen with any pair of binoculars."