2012/03/15

Celestial entertainment: Jupiter and Venus





After the moon, they are the two brightest objects in the night sky, and for the next few evenings they will appear side-by-side in western skies in a dazzling heavenly spectacle.
Though Jupiter is seven times farther from Earth than Venus, the planets' orbits bring them into close approach on Tuesday evening, when they will appear only three degrees, or a few finger-widths, apart.
From Tuesday (13th March) the planets will gradually move apart, but remain within five degrees of one another until Saturday, after which their next heavenly meeting in fully dark skies will be on June 2015. Venus, the second rock from the sun, appears by far the brighter of the two, because it receives and reflects more intense sunlight than reaches Jupiter, the fifth planet out, beyond the orbit of Mars.

 source: www.guardian.co.uk