The Baltimore Sun

That brilliant "star" blazing in the southwestern sky on clear evenings this month is actually the planet Venus. It is currently at its very brightest, rated by astronomers at a magnitude of minus-4.6. Venus is highly reflective, but it is only partially illuminated by the sun. Through a telescope, it looks like a bright smile, or the crescent moon. During March, it will fade quickly and slip deeper into the dusk.

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