Tonight’s the Night: Crescent Moon Flirts With Venus, Jupiter; Mercury, Mars, Drop In
It has been hard to miss: All week we’ve seen Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest objects in the sky this week, edge closer and closer together. On Saturday February 25 and Sunday the 26th the tender new moon will appear, a coy crescent shimmering first next to Venus, then Jupiter as it forms a slender triangle with the two each night.
This all takes place at twilight and is visible everywhere, NASA says. So train your eye west just after sunset and watch the sky’s three brightest objects grow in brilliance against the indigo sky in what astronomers call a triple conjunction, according to Space.com. Last week's ICTMN story gives a primer, with video.
It’s just a prelude to the Venus-Jupiter dance that will continue through mid-March as the two planets converge until they are so close together that two outstretched fingers will hide them.
Although these outshine everything else in the sky, they are not the only planets visible this month. A look at the western horizon just as the sun sets may reveal Mercury, the tiny planet closest to the sun, which is visible at about 6 p.m., according to Space.com. It doesn’t stay long, so don’t be late.
Mars, the Red Planet, shows up a few hours later, also rising in the eastern sky.
The Venus-Moon-Jupiter show will be webcast live by the Slooh Space Camera beginning at 9:30 p.m. (2:30 GMT, February 26 and 27), so people under cloudy skies do not have to miss out. Moreover, the footage will come from places as disparate as Arizona and the Canary Islands, Space.com said. Here's how to watch.