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For all you star and planet-gazers, this Thursday evening, take a look at the western skies as Jupiter and Venus--the two brightest planets to the unaided eye--stage a close encounter over the Northern Hemisphere.
The two planets have been getting closer and closer in the sky for the last month, and now it's time to see them side-by-side. Venus is the higher, brighter object, and Jupiter is the lower dimmer one. Of course, Venus and Jupiter aren't actually close to each other in the sky.
They're really separated by millions of kilometres. But from our perspective here on Earth, we see the two objects closely lined up. That's a conjunction.
Venus and Jupiter reach 3 degrees distance from one another. The sky show will continue, and on March 25th, 2012, the New Moon will join the pair again to create a triple conjunction - another great photo opportunity.