Watch the Moon Join the Venus-Jupiter Show!
March 25, 2012 2 Comments
Two weeks ago Jupiter and Venus had an amazing close approach in the evening sky. Now the two are separated by ~10°. Though Jupiter appears to be the one that is quickly moving further down night after night, it is actually Venus that is quickly moving by ~1° per day to the east relative to the stars. It just so happens that the stars are moving to the west by ~1° per day so Venus appears to be in the same part of the sky relative to the horizon.
Tonight and tomorrow night the Moon joins in the fun. Tonight (evening of March 25) the Moon will pair up with Jupiter while tomorrow night (evening of March 26) it will spend the evening with Venus.
To put the three objects in perspective, here are their distances from Earth for tonight. The Moon is by far the closest object at a distance of 0.0027 AU (~252,000 miles from the center of the Earth). Venus is the next one out at a distance of 0.72 AU (66.9 million miles) which is 265 times further away than the Moon. While distant Jupiter is 5.76 AU away (535 million miles) or 8 times further away than Venus. In case you are wondering, Mars which is visible as a bright red star in the east during the evening is almost the same exact distance away from Earth as Venus (0.72 AU).