Witness the Rare Celestial Event of Jupiter and Venus in Conjunction on March 1 & 2
On March 1 and 2, two of the brightest planets in the night sky will come close together in a rare celestial event known as a conjunction. Jupiter and Venus, the two biggest planets in our solar system, will appear almost close enough to touch, although they are actually 400 million miles apart.
Venus is the brighter of the two, and will appear northwest of Jupiter. They will be separated by just half a degree, which is the width of two full moons or about half the width of your thumb at arm's length, according to the Adler Planetarium.
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, and appears so bright due to its great size and distance from Earth. Venus appears so brightly due to its close proximity to Earth, its bright clouds, and its closeness to the Sun, reflecting a lot of the Sun's light into space.
The next closest conjunction will be on February 7, 2032. However, if you miss the event tonight, you still have a chance to catch them. The two planets will still seem quite close together on Thursday and Friday night. But soon, they will slowly drift apart, with Venus rising and Jupiter dropping toward the horizon and the Sun.
The next full moon will occur on Tuesday, March 7, and that evening, Venus, Jupiter and Mars will all be visible in the night sky.
2023 will also have two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses. The solar eclipses will be a total eclipse on April 20 and an annular eclipse on Oct 14. The lunar eclipses will be a penumbral eclipse on May 5 and a partial eclipse of the hunter's moon on October 28.
Finally, mark your calendars with the peak dates of meteor showers to watch in 2023: Southern Taurids on November 4-5 and Northern Taurids on November 11-12, as well as the Geminids on December 13-14.
Remember to wear proper eclipse glasses when viewing solar eclipses, as the sun's light can be damaging to the eye. So get your binoculars and telescope ready, and enjoy the spectacle of two of the brightest planets in the night sky coming together.
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