Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, 2023-03-01

After sunset, the bright planets Venus (magnitude −4) and Jupiter (−2.1) are visible, apparently close together in the western sky. They get closer each successive night in February 2023, until on March 1 they are separated by only 32 arcminutes, about half a degree, or around the apparent size of the full Moon.

You don’t need any equipment to appreciate this stunning sight other than the Mark I eyeball. If you have binoculars or a small telescope, you’ll be able to see Jupiter and Venus in the same field of view with Jupiter’s moons in a row next to the giant planet.

Here is a picture I took of a conjunction of Venus and Jupiter on 2015-07-01, which was not as close as upcoming event. You can (barely) see the crescent phase of Venus and (with a little imagination) the cloud bands on Jupiter. Jupiter’s Galilean moons did not appear in this photo, whose exposure time had to be limited to avoid overexposing Venus, which is around 4000 times brighter than the satellites.



Cloudy, dammit. But at least my wife saw it on her commute.