It’s a challenge every month to spot the New Moon by naked-eye 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) will be in geocentric longitudinal conjunction with the Sun on 2013 DEC 03
at 00:22 UT (DEC 02 AT 18:22 CST).
The early spotting of a New Moon will be easier for observers north of the tropics
as we have moved further from the time of the autumnal equinox. The waxing crescent
Moon moving north of the ecliptic is also helpful. Some North Americans may be able
to spot the one-day-old Moon on DEC 03. Others should have better luck on DEC 04.
Venus will serve as a guide. See the preview graphics linked above.
Also above is a link to a panorama including each Diana’s Bow in 2013. 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