Venus and Jupiter Tonight, May 25, 2015

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Brilliant Venus and bright Jupiter shine from the western sky during twilight this evening as seen from the Chicago area.  The two planets appear very close together at the end of June.  Watch them get closer together each night.  Tonight they are about 26 degrees apart.

Venus, Jupiter and the moon, May 21, 2015

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Brilliant Venus is joined by the crescent moon this evening in the western sky.  Bright Jupiter appears to the upper left of Venus.  Tonight the pair is separated by about 30 degrees.  The planets appear very close together at the end of June.  Castor and Pollux, the Gemini Twins, appear above the Venus-moon pairing.  Procyon appears to the left of the moon.

More information about the evening appearance of Venus:

Venus as an Evening Star

Venus and Jupiter Tonight, May 13, 2015

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The two bright “stars” in the western sky this evening are Venus and Jupiter.  Venus is the brightest starlike object in the sky, although it shines by reflected sunlight.  It is over six times brighter than Jupiter, which appears higher in the sky and farther south.  The separation between the pair is about 38 degrees and decreasing quickly.  Venus is rapidly moving eastward compared to the background of stars.  During the next week watch Venus move closer to Pollux and Castor, the Gemini Twins.  By the end of June, Venus and Jupiter appear as a brilliant celestial pair in the western sky.

Venus & Jupiter, April 2015

Venus and Jupiter gleam from the evening sky during April 2015.  Venus is the bright celestial gem that sparkles in the western sky after sunset.  It sets over three hours after the sun, making it easily observed.  The difference between sunset and the planet setting grows to nearly 3 hours, 40 minutes after sunset by months end, allowing Venus to around midnight.

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Early in the month, Venus appears nearly 19 degrees to the upper left Mars, fading in brightness and moving into the sun’s bright glare. As the month progresses, Venus moves higher in the sky as the stars appear lower in the west each night at the same time.  Watch Venus approach and move between the Pleiades star cluster and the star Aldebaran near mid-month.  Early in the month. Venus is about 10 degrees below the Pleiades and 20 degrees to the lower right of Aldebaran.

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Meanwhile, Jupiter, shines from the southeastern sky near the star Regulus, 80 degrees from Venus.  By late June, Jupiter and Venus appear very close together in the western sky just after sunset.

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During the second week of the month, Venus passes the Pleiades.  On the evenings of April 10 and April 11, Venus appears about 2.5 degrees to the left of the cluster.  Look through binoculars to capture a captivating view of the brilliant planet and the star cluster.

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Venus appears to move between the Pleiades and Aldebaran on April 13, with the star about 10 degrees from Venus.

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Late in the month, the moon joins the grouping.  On April 20 the moon appears to the lower left of the Pleiades.  On April 21, the moon appears about 4 degrees to the upper left of Aldebaran.

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The moon moves farther east each night and reaches Jupiter on April 26, appearing nearly 8 degrees from this giant planet.

By month’s end Venus and Jupiter at about 50  degrees apart and two months from a spectacular conjunction in the western sky.

Venus and Jupiter, March 17, 2015

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Brilliant Venus shines in the western sky this evening.  It shines all other visible celestial objects this evening.  During late March is sets nearly three hours after sunset, appearing as a sparkling celestial gem in the western sky.   On Sunday, March 22, the moon appears about 3.5 degrees to the left  of Venus.  Look for the pair as the sky darkens.

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Meanwhile, bright Jupiter shines high in the southeastern sky this evening near the star Regulus.  Tonight Jupiter is nearly 17 degrees to the upper right of Regulus.

Jupiter & Moon, March 1-3, 2015

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What’s that bright star near the moon tonight?  It’s Jupiter!  Jupiter is brightest “star” in the eastern sky during March, following Venus‘ brilliance in the western evening sky.

Separations are difficult to detect to the unaided eye.  In astronomy, we describe the distance between celestial objects in angular degrees, as measured by a protractor with your eye at the corner or vertex of the angle.  The full moon is about 1/2 degree across.  Our charts exaggerate the size of the moon so it cannot be used as a measuring scale on these images.

March 1:  The moon is 15 degrees (30 full moon diameters) to the upper right of Jupiter which is 15 degrees above the star Regulus

March 2:  The moon is about 6 degrees to the right of Jupiter

March 3:  The moon is 12 degrees below Jupiter and 6 degrees to the upper right of Regulus.

Venus, Mars & Jupiter, February 27, 2015

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Brilliant Venus shines from the western sky this evening with Mars nearby. Venus is now well past Mars. The planets are now nearly 3 degrees apart and separating by about 1 degree each day.

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At the same time, Jupiter shines from the eastern sky.  It appears about 15 degrees to the upper right of the star Regulus.

More posts about the planets:

Mars and Venus, February 2015

Venus as an Evening Star

Jupiter at opposition

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