Get ready for some awesome planetary alignment action this weekend.

The moon, Venus, and Jupiter — the three brightest objects in the night sky — will be putting on a dazzling celestial show shortly after sunset both Feb. 25 and 26, coming together in a tight triangle. With any luck, you might also spot tiny Mercury down near the horizon just as the sun goes down.

People all over the world can check out the performance just by stepping outside and looking westward. If snowstorms or general chilliness drive you inside, you can always watch the spectacular event live on the Slooh Space Camera feed, starting both nights at 6:30 p.m. PST.

As an added bonus, those who tune into the web show can hear some choice scientific tidbits as Slooh’s Patrick Paolucci talks to Astronomy Magazine columnist Bob Berman and other special guests.

Planets can be distinguished from stars in the night sky because they don’t twinkle. This is because they are much closer to us and their light doesn’t get completely distorted by Earth’s atmosphere.

The planetary alignment will continue through the end of the month, with Venus and Jupiter inching ever closer. By late February, the two worlds will appear less than 10 degrees apart, able to be hidden behind an outstretched clenched fist. In March Venus and Jupiter will continue converging until, on Mar. 13, they will be only three degrees (or about two fingers) apart.

If all this isn’t enough, turn around and face eastward during this time to spot the bright red dot of Mars rising shortly after sunset. Mars will grow slightly larger in the sky as it gets nearer to Earth, coming closest around Mar. 5.

Saturn, the final planet visible to the naked eye, will appear in the east shortly before midnight during this period, shining highest in the sky in the hours leading up to dawn.

Video: An Alignment of Planets


Responses to "Watch a Live Feed of This Weekend’s Spectacular Planetary Alignment"

  1. as I was walking home tonite I saw in the clear sky sunset the beauty above as descibed in the video.

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