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Jupiter and Venus are striking to view in the night sky right now

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February 2023 is a unbelievable time to simply view two of the distinctive planets in our photo voltaic system. Each the gasoline big Jupiter and our scorching sister planet, Venus, are good in the night sky this month. Even in areas with horrible gentle air pollution, like New York Metropolis, these planetary diamonds shine brilliant.

“All month lengthy, you may discover the two brightest planets in the sky, Jupiter and Venus, seem nearer collectively every night,” writes NASA(Opens in a new tab).


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How to see Jupiter and Venus

It is extraordinarily straightforward. And you do not want any tools.

“Discover them in the west in the hour or so after sunset,” NASA explains.

You may see Jupiter above, and Venus — which is the third brightest celestial object in the night sky (behind the solar and moon) — beneath. As February progresses, the planets are shifting nearer collectively in the sky.

A NASA graphic displaying the place to see Venus and Jupiter in the night sky on Feb. 22.
Credit score: NASA / JPL-Caltech


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After all, these vivid planets aren’t the solely intriguing objects to see in February. For instance, with the assist of binoculars, you’ll be able to spot two clusters of stars.

“All month lengthy, observers with entry to an excellent pair of binoculars or a small telescope can hunt for 2 straightforward star clusters utilizing the brightest star in the sky as a guidepost,” NASA explains. “They’re two open star clusters, M41 and M47. They’re referred to as ‘open’ as a result of their stars are shut collectively in area, however in kind of a diffuse construction.” The guidepost is Sirius, which is straightforward to discover in the south skies throughout winter. M41 is simply south of Sirius. When you’re up for the star cluster hunt, the space agency has more details on its sky-viewing webpage(Opens in a new tab).

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Wild planets in our cosmic yard

It is a deal with to have the ability to view close by celestial objects with our bare eye as daylight displays off them. The 2 planets in view now, Venus and Jupiter, are wildly completely different worlds:

Venus: Venus is a rocky planet that is about the identical measurement of Earth. It is also the closest planet to us. However on the floor, its environs are hotter than a pizza oven, at some 900 degrees Fahrenheit(Opens in a new tab). The planet’s thick layers of greenhouse gases, like the potent carbon dioxide, lure copious quantities of warmth. Its higher ambiance, nevertheless, hosts extra reasonable, affordable climes.

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Jupiter: Jupiter is a gasoline big planet, containing over twice the mass of all different planets in our photo voltaic system mixed. Thick clouds and storms (largely of hydrogen and helium) swirl round the floor, together with the Nice Pink Spot, which NASA notes has “raged for over a century.”(Opens in a new tab) Jupiter comprises a whopping 92 known moons(Opens in a new tab), together with the fascinating world Europa, which harbors an icy ocean beneath its cracked shell.

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