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article imageCelestial spectacle awaits as 4 planets to appear in conjunction

By Kev Hedges     Feb 26, 2012 in Science
Sky-watchers are in for a celestial treat on Monday with four planets poised to appear in conjunction after sunset. The planet Jupiter will be visible with the moon in the western sky after sunset.
The celestial theatre show is astronomically known as Conjunction of moon with Jupiter. When talking in astronomical terms this means as seen from earth, the moon will appear to be near to Jupiter when viewing towards the night sky.
Look towards the western sky on Monday and just below the moon and you'll be able to spot Venus. Jupiter and Venus will form a triangle with the crescent moon. All three bodies should be bright enough to see with the naked eye and could be visible through thin cloud or city lights, reports Zee News.
Venus and Jupiter have already lined up in the western sky back in mid-February. Sky gazers can also see red-planet Mars in the eastern direction after sundown. And on March 14, both Venus and Jupiter would be paired appearing side by side in the sky in what is called the Conjunction of Venus with Jupiter.
On Saturday night the moon appeared closer to Venus. The moon then retreated from view, then Venus and Jupiter kept getting closer. In real terms the celestial bodies are not even close to each at all, it's simply that they are all in the similar direction when viewing from earth.
Degrees of viewing perspective
During mid-February Venus and Jupiter lined up to within 20 degrees of each other as a viewing perspective. By Thursday (March 1) that perspective will have narrowed to 10 degrees and down to just three degrees by March 14.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, the paler cousin planet Mercury may also be visible too, low on the horizon, beneath Venus depending on your sky conditions, but it will disappear quickly after sunset.
Crescent moon seen over Hertfordshire on Sunday night with Venus and Jupiter
Crescent moon seen over Hertfordshire on Sunday night with Venus and Jupiter
More about Jupiter, Moon, Venus, Mars, crescent moon
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