In the pre-dawn sky here at the end of January and for a week or so into February, Venus and Jupiter will appear closest together in the sky, peaking around February 1. Our moon will join this alignment, 2 – 3 days later, making all three celestial objects in conjunction. The moon will be in its waning crescent phase.
Venus and Jupiter rise out of the east to southeast a couple of hours before sunrise. They will be so close to one another and so bright as to appear to be a double planet. On February 4, about forty-five minutes before sunrise, the moon will join the two planets to form an isosceles triangle, or pyramid shape, with the planets three degrees apart and the moon at the vertex five degrees apart from the other two.
The moon will be 247,000 miles (397,000 km) out, Venus 126 million miles (203 million km), and Jupiter 560 million miles (901 million km). Another conjunction of Venus and Jupiter will occur in the evening sky on December 1. Two and one-half years later in 2011, Venus and Jupiter will be in conjunction in the morning sky once again.
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