Triangular Spectacle: Moon, Venus and Jupiter
Last February 26, 2012, the crescent Moon joined the other two brightest objects in the night sky – Jupiter and Venus – to form a spectacular celestial grouping during and after twilight! They’re just a few degrees apart at the time of twilight in the west.
This sky show dazzled a lot of skywatchers around the world during the weekend.
I have always been fascinated with celestial conjunctions. Hence, I immediately headed to SM Mall of Asia (near the Manila Bay area) after my on-the-job training in Makati City to take pictures of this event.
Traveling around the city—especially during the busiest evening rush hour period is one hell of a headache. Nonetheless, all the effort was worth it.
When we came, big dark clouds threatened our view. As the brightest objects in the night sky, Venus, Jupiter and the Moon can shine through urban lights, fog, and even some clouds. During that time, however they were hardly visible behind the clouds.
Fortunately, the skies cleared up just in time and we saw the awesome celestial trio. Thank God!
Once the moon retreats from view, Jupiter and Venus will continue growing closer. The gap will narrow to 10 degrees by the end of February until they pass each other in mid-March. On March 13 and 14, Jupiter and Venus reach their closest distance to each other. They will lie only three degrees apart. That’s just about the width of a finger and a half at arms length.
March 26, 2012: Venus, Jupiter and the Moon align | Image : Stellarium
By March 26, a crescent moon will join them once again, producing another brilliant sky display visible at twilight.
Don’t miss it!