Venus, Jupiter Nestle Nice and Close Tonight

Planets will dazzle skywatchers with annual get-together
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2012 6:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – Look out the window tonight and you'll see two planetary pals coming together for their annual rendezvous. Venus and Jupiter, which have been approaching each other for months, will finally dazzle skywatchers this week by nestling nice and close—from our perspective, in fact, just a few inches apart. The planetary conjunction starts tonight and peaks on Thursday, Space.com reports.

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Venus-Jupiter encounters only occur about every 13 months, and this one stands out because the planets will be visible for quite a while. Observers in mid-northern latitudes should see the floating orbs blaze on the western horizon for a few hours after the sun sets. True, Venus is a rather bland, whitish set of clouds, but through a telescope you can enjoy Jupiter's wild bands and swirls, especially the huge storm known as the Great Red Spot. (Read more Venus stories.)

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