It’s a challenge every month to spot the New Moon by naked-eye after sunset as early as possible. I use the term New Moon in its traditional sense of one’s first sighting of the Moon after its monthly solar conjunction (Dark Moon). The Dark Moon (which some call New Moon) was in geocentric longitudinal conjunction with the Sun on 2014 AUG 25 at 14:13 UT (09:13 CDT).
The early spotting of a New Moon becomes exceptionally difficult for observers north of the tropics as we approach the autumnal equinox. This causes the angle at sunset to become rather sharp between the ecliptic and the horizon. The waxing crescent Moon running south of the ecliptic is also not helpful. The first opportunity for sharp-eyed North Americans may come on August 27, with the Moon aged well more than two days. More folks should have luck the next evening. See my previews above for August 27-29.
Also above is a link to a panorama including all Diana’s Bows in 2014. That’s a waxing crescent Moon about 10% illuminated and aged about three days. The name is a reference to the archery equipment of the ancient Roman Goddess of Hunting and the Moon. The graphic nicely illustrates how the season of the year affects the viewing of a waxing crescent Moon.