Venus, Jupiter cuddle up in night sky

Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Featured, Mission to Space | 0 comments

It’s not too late to catch the spectacular Venus and Jupiter show.

In this Dec. 1, 2008 file photo, the moon is illuminated in close proximity to Venus and Jupiter, on the top, during a spectacular display of celestial rare phenomenon called a planetary occultation, in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. Venus, Jupiter and Earth's moon are converging again for a brilliant night show. On the evenings of Monday, March 12, 2012, and Tuesday, the planets will appear just 3 degrees apart in the western sky. The gap has been narrowing since last month. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim, File)

The planets appeared just 3 degrees apart in the western sky on Monday and Tuesday, and have been edging closer to one another since last month.

The two planets are visible every night at twilight. Venus is brighter because of its relative closeness, compared with super-far-away Jupiter.

Even though the gap will widen, the planets will appear remarkably close all week and be easily visible the rest of this month. So says astronomer Tony Phillips, author of the spaceweather.com website. Grab a small telescope, and you can also catch Jupiter’s four largest moons.

Astronomers consider it the best evening tag-up of Venus and Jupiter in years. In July, early-risers will be treated to a similar spectacle, in the eastern sky at daybreak. Phillips says throw in the crescent moon, and it “will be worth waking up for.”
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Online:

Phillips’ web site:http://spaceweather.com/

Reported by MARCIA DUNN of the Associated Press from CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.

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