On June 27, 2012, visitors to the Public Observatory at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, looked through the main 16" telescope and saw a crescent shape. It reminded some visitors of the Moon, but it's the closest planet to Earth: Venus.
Several weeks ago, on June 5, Venus passed between the Earth and the Sun, in a transit observed and celebrated all over the world. The transit was observed even in places where it was night during the entire transit, thanks to online streaming views from observatories.
Now Venus is racing ahead of Earth in their paths around the Sun. As it gets further ahead of the Earth, we see it from a different angle, allowing us to see a sliver of the daylit side of Venus. The dark nighttime side of Venus is not bright enough for us to see.
Venus will wax (its shape appearing thicker) for about nine more months. When it is full, we will see all of its daylit side and none of the dark nighttime side.
Telescope: finderscope attached to the main telescope.
Camera: Lumenera SKYnyx2-0C with 2x Barlow