RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Stargazers in North Carolina are in for a treat, as Jupiter and Venus continue to put on a stunning show in the night sky.
If you missed the bright planetary duo near the moon Tuesday night, don’t worry — you have more chances to witness this spectacular display.
For the rest of February and into March, Jupiter and Venus will appear to be drawing closer to one another each evening, creating a head-turning evening show visible from North Carolina without much effort.
On Feb. 22, Jupiter will appear very close to the upper right of the crescent moon, with Venus appearing just below them.
On the evening of Wednesday, March 1, Jupiter and Venus will be closest together, but still far enough apart that they won’t appear as a single object to the unaided eye.
To witness this astronomical event, all you need is a clear sky and an unobstructed view toward the west.
The planetary groupings will be obvious to even the most casual sky watcher, and a scope or binoculars will enhance the viewing experience. And if you look close enough, you may even be able to spot some of Jupiter’s largest moons near the planet.
It’s worth noting, however, that while the planets may appear to be almost touching, they remain millions of miles apart. What we see is simply an optical illusion — the result of our perspective here on Earth.
Although Jupiter will soon fade from view, Venus will remain visible in the western sky throughout the summer, making this a prime opportunity to take in the wonders of the cosmos.
So mark your calendars, especially for the evening of March 1, and take a moment to appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty of our universe.