Thursday, February 23, 2012

HEAVENLY TREAT

Stargazer or not, the heavens are going to offer a a rare treat this weekend.

Two bright planets will converge, then be joined by the moon. Venus, Jupiter and the moon are going to line-up  for a brilliant night show on Saturday and Sunday.

Venus and Jupiter already are lining up in the western sky, but this weekend, the moon will get in on the act. The crescent moon will appear closer to Venus on Saturday and closer to Jupiter on Sunday.

Beyond our moon — figuratively a stone's throw away at 247,000 miles (397,000 kilometers) — we first reach Venus, about 510 times farther out, or 126 million miles (203 million kilometers) from Earth. The lesser gem flanking Venus — Jupiter, largest of all the planets — is nearly 4 and a half times more distant than Venus at a distance of 560 million miles (901 million kilometers).

 The celestial encounter will be visible from around the world at twilight.

Of course, we are expecting rain, snow and cloud cover. 

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