Bright planets â west after sunset â Venus and Jupiter!
Bright planets: Start watching for Venus and Jupiter!
Venus and Jupiter are the two brightest planets visible from Earth. And – throughout February 2023 and into March – you can easily spot dazzling Venus and bold Jupiter near each other in the west after sunset. Venus is the brighter world. Start looking near the sunset point, as twilight falls. Venus and Jupiter will pop into view before any of the stars. And then … keep watching. The pair will creep closer together as February passes.
At their closest, on March 1, 2023, Venus will pass 0.5 degrees (the width of a full moon) from Jupiter on the sky’s dome. Stunning sight!
But you’ll enjoy them most if you start watching, then look outside every evening to see them draw closer, and closer, on the sky’s dome.
By March 1, Venus and Jupiter will fit inside a single binocular field of view.
Now on sale! The 2023 EarthSky lunar calendar. A unique and beautiful poster-sized calendar showing phases of the moon every night of the year. Treat yourself!
How bright are they?
They are very, very bright! You can’t miss them if you look west after sunset.
By early March, when the two are closest, Jupiter will be shining at -2.1 magnitude. Meanwhile, Venus shines at a whopping -4.0 magnitude. In fact, Venus ranks as the 3rd-brightest natural body in the sky, after the sun and moon. Venus is so dazzlingly bright that some sharp-sighted people can even spot it in daylight.
By the way, the view changes with time depending on your location on the globe. For a more precise star chart from your location, try Stellarium.
Submit your photos of the Venus and Jupiter conjunction to EarthSky Community Photos.
Bottom line: What’s that dazzling scene in the west after sunset? It’s the Venus and Jupiter conjunction! They’ll be closest around March 1, 2023.
For more great observing events in the coming weeks, visit EarthSky’s night sky guide