Don’t miss February’s celestial event by Venus and Jupiter

Venus and Jupiter appeared nearby in the Earth’s sky, 103 crore km from each other on 19 February 2023.

By Anoushka Caroline Williams  Published on  21 Feb 2023 3:30 AM GMT
Don’t miss February’s celestial event by Venus and Jupiter

Hyderabad: The celestial highlight of the month is a drama building throughout February.

Venus and Jupiter, two of the brightest planets, have been progressively approaching each other. They were 29 degrees apart at the start of the month. Because your clenched fist is equal to around 10 degrees from your outstretched palm, these two dazzling planets appeared roughly “three fists” apart at the beginning of February. Nonetheless, they have been getting closer to each other by around one degree each evening since then.

“Venus and Jupiter appeared nearby in the Earth’s sky, 103 crore km from each other on 19 February 2023. Venus is 21,24,28,976 km (21.24 crore km) from Earth and Jupiter is 84,97,15,905 (84.97 crore km) from Earth. In a pic taken at 7.30 pm on 19 February, both planets appeared near each other. However, as of 19 February, these planets are 1,03,15,86,940 km (103.15 crore km) from each other,” said Raghunandad Kumar, Founder Secretary of the Planetary Society, India.

On Monday, 20 February, the difference between the two would have narrowed to just over nine degrees (or about “one fist”). A week later, on 27 February, the space between the planets will have shrunk to 2.3 degrees.

Ultimately, they will be closest on Wednesday evening, 1 March, when they will be only 31 arc minutes (0.52 degrees) apart. Jupiter will be twice as brilliant as Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, with a magnitude of -2.1. But Venus, at magnitude -4.0, will be nearly six times brighter than Jupiter! Conditions allowing, these two planets should make for a remarkable visual spectacle, drawing the attention of even those who don't give the night sky more than a glance.

What to Expect

From 21 February 2023 to 2 March 2023, on the west side sky after sunset, Venus and Jupiter will appear inching closer to each other every evening. On the days following 2 March, both planets will appear to move away from each other. It is critical to highlight that this event brings forth something incredible. Planets orbit the Sun from far away in their distinct orbits on either side of the Earth. But, in rare instances, as on 2 March 2023, they appear near to one another in the earth’s sky.

The Reality

On 19 February 2023, Venus was 21,24,28,976 km (21.24 crore km) from Earth, while Jupiter was 84,97,15,905 km (84.97 crore km) away. When a snapshot of these planets was taken in the western sky on 19 February at 7.30 pm, they appeared below/above each other in the photograph. In reality, on 19 February 2023, the two planets are 64,14,44,000 km (64.14 crore km) apart. And on 2 March 2023, Venus and Jupiter will be 65,94,90,000 km (65.94 crore km) apart, but for people on Earth, they will appear close to each other in the west after sunset.

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