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Planets Dazzle In Western Twilight

When facing west after sunset in February 2023, look for two bright objects in the twilight. Mid-month, brilliant Venus moves higher in the sky with each passing day and approaches the giant planet Jupiter above it.

Western horizon with Venus and Jupiter circled

Watch Venus glide closer to Jupiter until Wednesday, February 21, when a tiny sliver of a moon enters the stage just below Venus. The resplendent crescent may be a challenge low in the west, but worth seeking.

Illustration of moon below Venus and Jupiter.

The next night, February 22, the moon is easily found beside Jupiter, and Venus is closing in on Jupiter. If the angular diameter of the moon is about half a degree, then Jupiter is just over a degree away from the moon that Wednesday.

Then, on March 1, the dancing planets in the western sky make their closest approach at conjunction, with brighter Venus to the right. What a sight! More details and illustrations are at Earth & Sky article.

If you're out stargazing, you may want to look for predicted flyovers of Starlink satellite strings. See And if you look overhead, that bright red one that appears like a star but doesn't twinkle is Mars. Seize the night!


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