Venus and Jupiter in double dazzle

Two bright planets, Venus and Jupiter, will come together for a spectacular pairing in the sky this Friday morning. They will lie less than two moon’s widths apart when they rise in the early morning sky before dawn.

The rare conjunction means that early risers will be able to hide both behind the tip of a finger held at arm’s length.

Best time to look from the UK and Ireland will be around 7am as the two planets lift above the horizon to the south-east. Venus is the brighter of the two and will lie above Jupiter.

Robin Scagell, of the UK’s Society for Popular Astronomy, said: “These two planets are both bright and will make a dazzling sight to brighten up a cold winter’s morning.

“They will be obvious to everyone and you don’t need to be a stargazer or have a telescope to enjoy the view!”

Look across to the right and you will see the crescent Moon close to Antares, brightest star in Scorpius. On February 4, the Moon will be close to Venus and Jupiter, making an attractive grouping in the sky.

The image above, showing the scene at 7.10am from southern England, was produced with the planetarium program Starry Night.

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