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New Years Eve puts on a great sky show for us this year.  Up high , the slender, 2 and 1/2 day old crescent Moon joins bright Venus high in the southwest just after sundown. 
 
Lower, close to the west-southwest horizon, you can spot Jupiter.  If you have binoculars, look to Jupiter's left for Mercury.  Since Mercury never gets very high in the sky, few people other that dedicated amateur astronomers have ever seen this small  planet which orbits closest to the Sun.  

Venus is so bright, you can see if before the sun sets, if you know where to look.  Mark its position relative to the top of a tree, corner of a house, etc., and come back to that position about 5:00 - 5:15 PM on New Years Day or the day after, and you should be able to spot Venus just above and to the left of where you saw it the day before. 

I've included a couple of bitmap images to show the arrangements, along with a red circle that shows a typical binocular field of view.  

Good hunting!

Bill Helms
Alachua Astronomy Club
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