This month is going to be stellar, just ask the stars. Tonight, March 1, Jupiter and Venus, the two brightest planets in the visible from Earth, will shine at their closest on our sky’s dome.
While perceptive stargazers might’ve observed Jupiter and Venus this past February, tonight the distance between the two planets be “smaller than the width of a pinky finger held at arm’s length” states accuweather, a phenomenon known as conjunction.
This conjunction will be most visible at evening twilight.
The article points out that the distance between the two planets, though seemingly close, actually comes out to be around 400 million miles.
“By March 1-2, Venus and Jupiter will fit inside a single binocular field of view,” EarthSky states. “Don’t miss them! From then on, Venus will be higher in the sky as Jupiter sinks toward the horizon and the sun.”
While a telescope or pair of binoculars would amplify the cosmic phenomenon, the article states that the event can be easily observed by the naked eye.
Though this is the first time that Jupiter and Venus converged in such a way since 2015, the conjunction of the two planets draws a similarity to the “Christmas Star” back in 2020, when Jupiter and Saturn held proximity just four days shy of Christmas.
With this celestial phenomenon occurring on March 1, the first night of meteorological spring, accuweather is dubbing this conjunction the “spring star”.
The two planets will remain through most of the month, though the distance will appear to grow until Jupiter is lost in a sunset glare by the end of March. Venus will remain visible until this summer.
Venus is in fact, the third brightest celestial body in the sky following the sun and moon, according to EarthSky, so much so that it can sometimes be observed in daylight.