In 2023, which is not exactly rich in special celestial events, there is a nice opportunity to observe a striking spectacle starting at the end of February. With Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest planets meet and can be seen even in the western sky in the evening – and even in light-polluted big cities!
Venus and Jupiter come closest on the evening of March 1 – at least from the perspective of terrestrial observers. In fact, on that day, brighter Venus is more than 100 million kilometres from Earth, and kilometres about 7.5 times that distance, explained Alexander Pikhard of the Vienna Working Group for Astronomy.
Venus and Jupiter meet every eleven to 15 months, but not all meetings are equally observable. The next time it will be as conspicuous as this year will be in August 2025, but then at dawn.
The planetary rendezvous is only of short duration, because Jupiter is only visible until early March. But until early summer, the young crescent moon always joins the evening star, Venus, at the end of the month. “This constellation in particular, is especially attractive to look at. Venus and crescent moon make a great photo motif,” said Michael Jäger, chairman of the Martinsberg Astronomical Center in Lower Austria.
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