Mars, Venus Appear Very Close to Each Other this Month

February is a great month for the early rising skygazers. Venus has been bright in the morning sky all year, rising just before the Moon.

In the minutes before dawn this week, Venus will rise to the upper left of the waning crescent Moon and will be joined by Mars.

This graphic shows Venus, Earth and its Moon, and Mars.
This graphic shows Venus, Earth and its Moon, and Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA

Over the coming weeks, Venus will shift towards Mars until they appear to merge into one another, just a half a degree apart, on Feb. 22.

To view this planetary illusion, you’ll need to find a place with a clear view of the western horizon – few to no tall trees or buildings.

For more skygazing opportunities, including observing spiral galaxy M81, check out the video below from Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s monthly “What’s Up” video series:

By Lauren Perkins
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

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