Detecting Appulse

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An appulse is an apparent conjunction of two celestial bodies caused by perspective only – in this case, the Moon and (to its apparent left) Venus, viewed in the early morning from the darkness of a crater on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu by Alex Dzierba. To wit:

The Moon was in a crescent phase with its lower left reflecting direct sunlight, while the rest of the Moon is seen because of of Earthshine, sunlight first reflected from the Earth. Some leaves and branches of a foreground kiawe tree are seen in silhouette… Appulses involving the Moon typically occur several times a year: for example the Moon is expected to pass within 0.20 degrees of distant Saturn on March 1.

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