Moon, Venus and Jupiter Share Evening Sky

2 planets, moon make great skywatching

Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008  |  Updated 8:12 PM EDT
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Moon, Venus, Jupiter Get Cozy

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A spectacular gathering in the sky.  If you looked into the western sky at dusk Monday, you were treated to a rare and wonderful view of two planets very near the crescent moon. 

Venus and Jupiter, which after the sun and moon are the two brightest objects in the sky, are within a few degrees of the crescent moon and only about 2 degrees from each other.  When looking at objects in the sky, 2 degrees is about the width of your finger when held at arms length.

Though these three things appear to be close together, the distances between them are vast.  The moon is about 250,000 miles from Earth.  Venus is 94 million miles away, and Saturn is 540 million miles from Earth.

If you did not get a chance to see this on Monday night, the show will continue for the next few days.  Just remember to look into the western sky shortly after sunset.

Though not necessarily a once-in-a-lifetime occurance, we will not be treated to an evening viewing of these three object this close again until Nov. 16, 2017.

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