Mar 25th, 2012
Author: Joe Gee
This weekend, Venus and Jupiter will shine together in the western sky, and the slim crescent moon will also play a part in the celestial show.
The agency is throwing a webchat Sunday from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT, during which people can discuss how Venus and Jupiter are aligned in the sky.
Melissa McGrath, chief scientist in the Science & Technology Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsvilla, Ala., will also be on hand to answer questions about the skywatching event, which astronomers call a conjunction.
During the webchat, individuals will also be able to tune into a real time feed of NASA’s view of Venus and Jupiter as they brighten up the night skies.
“This will be the highest quality Venus and Jupiter conjunction for years to come,” NASA officials said in a report.
How to easily spot Venus and Jupiter
On Sunday, the slim crescent moon will loom slightly above Jupiter, about 3 degrees to the right of the planet. For perspective, if you hold your clenched fist out at arm’s length, this is roughly equal to 10 degrees.
In North America, Jupiter and the moon will be nearest together at roughly around 9 p.m. EDT. If there are clear skies and good conditions, it should be fairly simple to pick out all three celestial targets with your naked eyes. But, if you have some binoculars or a telescope, the moon and Venus and Jupiter are counted upon to provide a skywatching treat.
Venus will appear about 10 degrees above Jupiter and the moon so that the three objects form a lengthy, slim isosceles triangle.
By Monday evening (March 26), the moon will appear closer to Venus. This time, the crescent moon will be positioned less than 3 degrees to the left and just slightly above Venus. Don’t miss out on this Venus and Jupiter show!