FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – If you’ve noticed two bright lights, located close to each other, in the night sky this week, you’ve most likely spotted planets Jupiter and Venus.
On Wednesday evening, they will reach their closest point and be only within 0.5° of each other in the western sky.
The only hiccup to your plans to spot them so close, is if clouds block the view.
No telescopes or binoculars needed. Both planets are visible with the naked eye. Mars is visible, too, in our night sky. It’s near the moon with a reddish color.
Astronomy expert Tony Rice tells WANE 15 these fun facts about what we’re witnessing, called the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus:
“It is special because it’s happening in the evening (the next several are all pre-dawn), but also pretty special because the pair is separated from the Sun by a significant amount. This makes them easier to spot because they are a) higher above the horizon b) above the horizon longer c) visible when the sky is darker.
- Venus and Jupiter were last separated by about half a degree on May 1, 2022
- They will next be separated by about half a degree on Feb 7, 2032
- We’ll next see something like this when Mars and Jupiter cozy up in the predawn sky on Aug 15, 2024
Over the coming days
- Venus will continue to rise higher when it tops out at the end of April
- Jupiter will continue to move closer to the horizon until it disappears in mid-March