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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Stuart Clark

Starwatch: Jupiter and Venus meet for spectacular conjunction

If the weather cooperates and you can find a clear western horizon, this week will treat you to a spectacular evening conjunction.

The two brightest planets, Jupiter and Venus, will meet in the western sky just after sunset. As an added bonus, the space between the two planets will play host to the tiny sliver of a crescent moon. The chart shows the view looking west from London at 1800 GMT on 22 February. The constellations are marked but no other stars will be visible at this time in that part of the sky. The planets, however, will stand out brightly against the gathering twilight. The moon will also look beautiful with slightly more than 8% of its surface illuminated. Stargazers around the world will be able to see the conjunction.

From Cape Town, South Africa, look west about 2000 SAST on 22 February. For those in Sydney, Australia, the view might be better looking west at 2000 AEDT on 23 February, when the moon will be above Jupiter and slightly more illuminated. And keep watching these two planets over the course of the next week as they will be getting closer and closer together.

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