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The Sciences

Venus and Jupiter

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitFebruary 1, 2008 12:35 PM

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We are having an incredible wind storm, and it woke me up. So I'm in my office surfing, and see that Venus and Jupiter are very close together in the sky this (Friday) morning. This is called a conjunction, and it's something of an illusion: Venus is much closer to Earth than Jupiter, but in the cosmic dance of the planets, they happen to line up in the sky. If you happen to read this before dawn on Friday (it's hours away Mountain time as I write this), face East and look low to the horizon. They should be obvious enough: they are the third and fourth brightest objects in the sky (after the Sun and Moon). Conjunctions are pretty, so if you happen to be up, check out this sparkling pair.

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