Look up, set your gaze west-ward on a clear sky moments after sunset today and you’re bound to see a night time wonder.
It’s a spectacular trio of three celestial bodies marking a rare “conjunction”.
This astronomical phenomenon is where Jupiter, Venus and the Moon “conjunct”, and a must-see in the sky, according the European Space Agency and UK Space Agency.
It's best to catch it between now and March 3, 2023.
Tonight’s strikingly “good” conjunction hangs low in the western horizon, and can be visible even before sunset.
What makes this conjunction “good”?
Conjunctions are “good” if the planets are far enough from the Sun to be observed easily after sunset or before sunrise.
When planets are in conjunction, they are usually separated by no more than a few degrees.
And while this photo was captured at around 7pm of February 23, 2023 in the Far East, it does not do the event justice.
It is best to just look up.
Venus generally conjuncts Jupiter about 3 years and 3 months — making it a rather rare event, considering that 4 babies get born every second. This rare event will be visible in the next few days till about March 3, 2023.
The Moon, on the other hand, moves much faster, and passes conjunction with every planet roughly once a month.
Once every 171 years
The conjunction event this 2023 is special as the two planets appear at their closest for decades — at about 32 degrees of separation on March 2, 2023 at 6.41 Pacific Standard Time (6.41 am March 3, 2023 in the UAE), according to the astronomy site inthesky.org.
This particular conjunction between the two planets only happens once every 171 years.
So if the world is starting to get you down, and people are just too much for you to face? Then, you just need to look up and enjoy the show on a clear night.