ILLUSTRATION BY STUART FUNK
Depictions of a star and crescent symbol have been used in many cultures for millennia. The ancient Sumerians linked the combination with Inanna, the deity they associated with the planet Venus. This year, the paring of the moon and Venus will fall just after sunset on June 11. This will be tricky to spot because the crescent moon will be very thin and quickly approaching the horizon. For a clear view, start looking west around 8 p.m. It will trace the same path of the sun.
Each month, Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory astronomer Eric McLaughlin spotlights a notable celestial event. For information about the observatory, visit ranchomiragelibrary.org.
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