Jupiter, Venus and moon align for stargazers -- even online
Jupiter and Venus are gradually moving closer together and will pass each in the night sky of March 13.
Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 05:20 PM
LINING UP: On Feb. 25, 2012, the Moon will be close to the planets Venus and Jupiter, seen here in the south by southwestern sky. (Image: Starry Night Software)
Jupiter, Venus and the moon will line up in an impressive triple play this weekend, and skywatchers won't even have to venture outside to see it.
The three celestial bodies will be in close proximity to each other on the nights of Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 25 and 26), forming a skywatching treat known as a triple conjunction. The online Slooh Space Camera will webcast the action live, beginning at 9:30 p.m. EST both Saturday and Sunday (0230 GMT on Feb. 26 and 27).
Slooh will provide footage from multiple observatories around the world on their homepage, including Arizona and the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa.
The crescent moon will appear closer to Venus on Saturday night, and nearer to Jupiter on Sunday night. People who watch on both evenings will gain an appreciation of just how much the moon moves through the sky over the course of 24 hours.
Jupiter and Venus are on the move from a skywatcher's perspective as well. The two planets are gradually coming closer together, and they'll pass each other in the night sky on March 13.
This isn't the first time that the Slooh Space Camera has broadcast live views of cosmic events. Last year, the online skywatching service provided views of total lunar eclipses in June and December, and it partnered with Google to turn the Internet company's popular search engine doodle into a live stream of the June 15 lunar eclipse.
If you snap an amazing photo of Jupiter, Venus the moon or any other skywatching target and would like to share it for a possible story or image gallery, please contact SPACE.com managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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