We went to a spot with a clear southwest view hoping to see comet Leonard. The conditions weren’t quite favorable. Instead, we admired the alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus. I pointed my camera on full zoom to Venus. It is currently rounding its orbit and passing us between the Sun and Earth. See the orbit diagram below.
We are seeing mostly the shadowed side of Venus. A thin crescent reflects off its surface. In the early days of January it will be almost directly between us and the Sun and not visible in the glare. It will emerge in the early morning hours by mid-January. It will remain our morning companion until October. This thinning crescent remains as our last view of 2021. The crescent will reverse next month.