Venus Crescent and Huge Active Region on the Sun

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Time is running out to catch the crescent of Venus this time around. It's dropping toward the horizon by about 1 degree per day after sunset. The crescent is readily visible through binoculars steadied on a tripod or other sturdy surface (just a caution to avoid binoculars if the sun is still above the horizon).

The sun is also sporting an enormous sunspot group right now. If you have eclipse glasses and good distance vision, it can be seen without magnification. It's an amazing sight if you do have a solar telescope.

Some iPhone photos of Venus and the waxing crescent Moon through an 8-inch Dobsonian telescope at 32X and 120X:

Venus Crescent - 120X

Venus Descending into the Trees - 32X

Crescent Moon - 32X

Observation Sketch of Solar Disc and AR1944 - 32X & 120X

Solar observing report - January 3, 2014