Hold Up Your Pinkie for Tonight's Sky Event

Jupiter, Venus 'conjunction' will make planets seem to be very close; they're still 400M miles apart
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2023 10:50 AM CST
Jupiter and Venus to Have Annual Meetup Tonight
Let's make like a family.   (Getty Images/m-gucci)

Jupiter and Venus are more than 400 million miles apart, but on Wednesday night, they'll appear to be just a pinkie finger's length apart, with your hand held at arm's length. That's according to AccuWeather, which notes that the month of March will kick off with a "pairing of [the] two incredibly bright planets." This sky snuggling of sorts is an astronomical event known as a "conjunction," an "apparent meeting or passing of two or more celestial bodies." Live Science describes this week's event as a "kiss" between Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, and Venus, the brightest, and people on Earth will be able to witness it with the naked eye.

The two planets have been slowly moving toward each other over the past few weeks, and they've been showing off in other ways during their progress toward the big event: Last week, for example, they both aligned with the crescent moon three nights in a row. Jupiter and Venus will still be pretty close on Thursday night as well, though Venus will have moved somewhat northwest. To see the conjunction, which happens once a year or so, on Wednesday, simply gaze west, right along the horizon line, soon after sunset. Weather permitting, you may even have a bonus sighting of three or four of Jupiter's moons, especially if you pick up a pair of binoculars. (Read more Jupiter stories.)

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