Venus and Jupiter will come closest to each other in the night sky on Wednesday (March 1) during a meeting of the solar system’s refracting planet, the hottest and largest planet.
During the close approach between the two planets, Venus And Jupiter will pass within 29.4 arc minutes, or about half a degree, of each other, according to in the sky (Opens in a new tab). They are so close, the two planets will appear to be “kissing” in the night sky. (Your clenched fist at arm’s length covers about 10 degrees of the sky.)
From New York City, the conjunction will be visible around 6:04 p.m. EDT (2304 GMT), when the two planets will be about 23 degrees above the horizon to the west. Venus f Jupiter Then it will sink towards the horizon and will set about 2.5 hours after the sun. Closest approach will occur at 12:05 AM EDT (0505 GMT) on Thursday (March 2).
Related: Top 12 events in the night sky to see in 2023
During a close approach, both planets will be in the constellation of Pisces. Venus will have a magnitude of -4.0, while Jupiter will have a magnitude of -2.1, with the negative prefix before both magnitudes denoting particularly bright objects. Land.
It will be close enough to fit into A.’s field of vision telescopebut it will also be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars,” In the Sky wrote.
The second planet from the sun, Venus is also the hottest world in the solar system. Venus is hotter than Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, because it has a dense atmosphere that traps heat and causes an intense greenhouse effect.
The surface temperature of Venus reaches about 900 degrees Fahrenheit (475 degrees Celsius), which is enough to melt lead. The planet is also dotted with volcanoes, some of which may still be active. Volcanic activity, if it continues, may help raise temperatures by suffocating the atmosphere with greenhouse gases.
Jupiter is much farther out in the solar system—it’s the fifth planet farther from the sun—and therefore much colder than Venus, with an average temperature of about minus 238 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 150 degrees Celsius).
While it loses the competition in temperature, Jupiter cannot be challenged in terms of size. The gas giant has a diameter of about 88,846 miles (142,984 kilometers), while Venus has a diameter of 7,520 miles (12,103 kilometers). You can fit about 1,400 Venus inside a gas giant.
This huge difference in size means that while Venus is much closer to Earth than Jupiter, the gas giant will still have a greater angular size in the night sky on Wednesday than the second planet from the sun. The angular size of Jupiter would be about 33 inches 3 , while the angular size of Venus would be 12 inches 2 .
If you were hoping to catch a glimpse of Venus and Jupiter during their close encounter, our guides The best telescopes And best binoculars Great place to start.
If you’re looking to take pictures of the night sky, check out our guide on How to visualize the moonAnd so do we The best cameras for astrophotography And The best lenses for astrophotography.
Editor’s note: If you took a photo of the close approach of Venus and Jupiter and would like to share it with Space.com readers, submit your photo(s), comments, name, and location to [email protected].
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