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Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the sun Nov. 1 and will shine for 2 1/2 hours after the sun goes down. The crescent moon and Venus will appear close together at dusk Nov. 6 and again Dec. 5 before Venus leaves our evening sky Jan. 11. This image shows Venus and the moon on Nov. 26, 2011.

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Jimmy Westlake: See Venus at its best

As the first “star” to pop out after sundown, Venus is popularly known as the Evening Star, but, of course, it isn’t a star at all. Venus is the second planet from the sun in our solar system and shines by reflected sunlight.

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