Close Approach of Venus and Jupiter

Jupiter and Venus are moving in opposite directions – which will cause them to meet up spectacularly this weekend! Here’s how and when to see the pair in the sky.

Now shining at a spectacularly bright magnitude of -3.85, Venus is fairly easy to spot for a while after sunset low in the southwestern sky. Venus’ orbital motion is carrying it eastward away from the sun, while Jupiter (along with the stars around it) is being carried westward toward the sun by the Earth’s orbital motion.

On the evenings surrounding Saturday, November 23, the orbital motion of Venus will carry it closely past Jupiter. Between sunset and 6 p.m. local time, look low in the southwestern sky for very bright Venus positioned to the lower left (or celestial south) of medium-bright Jupiter. The closest approach of Jupiter and Venus with a separation of only 1.5 degrees will occur on early evening of Saturday, November 23. Venus will appear brighter than Jupiter. Both planets will appear together in the field of view of a telescope at low magnification for several days.

Check the Star Walk 2 app to find out rise and set times for planets and easily locate them in the sky above you.

Happy hunting!

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Image Credit:Vito Technology

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