Eyes to the skies this week: Planets aligning for an incredible celestial show

CLEVELAND - The heavens are ready to put on a show. The brightest planets in our solar system are lining up for one of the best celestial displays of the year. And, if the clouds clear out this week, you'll have a front row seat.

From now through mid-March, Venus and Jupiter will all be visible in the evening sky with the best show right at twilight. Each evening, look in the western sky just after sunset.

Venus and Jupiter stand out as the brightest objects in the sky, even before the sky turns completely black. According to NASA, "The two brilliant planets surrounded by evening blue is a beautiful sight."

The show will get better and better each passing day. You see, Venus and Jupiter are converging. Now, they are just less than 20 degrees apart. By Feb. 29, the angle narrows to only 10 degrees. If you hold your hand up to the sky, that's only about four fingers apart.

"Their combined beauty grows each night as the distance between them shrinks," NASA said.

An added bonus will occur Saturday, Feb. 25. That's when the crescent moon moves in to form a slender heavenly triangle with Venus and Jupiter. If you miss it Saturday night, don't worry. The show repeats itself the next evening, on Sunday, Feb. 26.

If you look below Venus near the horizon, you'll also see Mercury peaking out. You don't have to drive to any specific location to see it, either. The planets and moon will be so bright you should be able to view them through thin clouds, bright city lights and fog. This arrangement will be visible all around the world.

Even after the moon exits the stage in late February, the show is not over. There is a brilliant finale. On March 13 and 14, Jupiter and Venus reach their closest distance to each other. They will lie only three degrees apart. That's just about a finger and a half apart.

Don't miss it!

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