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Venus and Jupiter in the Evening Sky

Carter Observatory

The National Observatory of New Zealand

(Date August 25. For immediate release)

Venus and Jupiter in the Evening Sky

If you look in the Western evening sky around 7pm, you will see the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter. At the moment, Venus, the brighter (by far) is lower and to the left of Jupiter. Over the next few days they will move closer in the sky and on September 2 will be only about 1½ degrees apart. (To give you some idea of this, the Sun and the Moon are about ½ degree across). After September 2, they will start to drift apart.

Note that when we use the word “closer”, we mean visually closer together in the sky, not physically closer together. In fact at 7pm on September 2, Venus will be at a distance of 169 million km and Jupiter at 928 million km.

Brian Carter, Senior Astronomer at Carter Observatory says, “there is nothing sinister or threatening about these types of planetary alignments. They happen regularly and do not herald the ‘end of the world’, earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions or the like, that are predicted by the ‘Prophets of Doom’.”


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