Venus and Mars Come Together

It is perhaps fitting that in the week after Valentine’s Day, Venus and Mars should be dancing closely in the sky. Look to the west after sunset on any clear night this week and you will see brilliantly blazing Venus joined by much dimmer (but still easily seen in the city) Mars. The animation below shows the sky at 6:15 pm CST on the evenings of Tuesday, February 17 through Monday, February 23 (screen captures from Stellarium).

Venus and Mars
Venus and Mars from Feb. 17-23

The two planets will be closest to each other this coming weekend, from Friday to Sunday. On Friday night, the crescent moon will be joining them, forming a unique triad. Try and observe how the two planets approach and then separate over the next week and get a sense of the never-ending dance of the planets around the Sun.

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