Jupiter and Venus will be ‘kissing’ in the night sky tonight: how to see it and what time

The planet Jupiter (pictured) and Venus will be almost touching, known as planet conjunction (NASA)
The planet Jupiter (pictured) and Venus will be almost touching, known as planet conjunction (NASA)

Skygazers have been spoiled recently; after seeing the Northern Lights in various parts of the country, they can now witness a planet conjunction.

Planets Venus and Jupiter appeared as if they were both touching last night with less than one degree separating them. This planet phenomenon will also be visible tonight (Thursday, March 2).

Jupiter, described as a gas giant, and Venus, being the most illuminated planet and also known as the Evening Star, were seen “kissing”.

And people on Twitter were quick to comment.

What are planet conjunctions?

This movement signals the calendar switch into spring, as the planets passed each other in what’s known as a conjunction.

According to Nasa, Jupiter will then appear to shift westward, while Venus will seem to move slowly in the other direction.

Celestial bodies orbiting around the sun in roughly the same plane as each other tracing similar paths across the sky cause conjunctions between planets.

Nasa ambassador Tony Rice explained how, if you were to stretch your hand and hold your pinkie against the sky, “you couldn’t fit your pinkie between these planets, they’re so close. They don’t get this close very often”.

Robert Massey, deputy executive director of the Royal Astronomical Society, explained: “At their closest, they’re expected to be just half a degree apart — about the diameter of a full moon.”

How can I see Jupiter and Venus conjoin from the UK?

The planet conjunction was more visible on the evening of March 1 but, for those who missed out, fear not.

The two planets will still be visible tonight - however, they will begin their separation.

But they will still continue to appear in the same part of the sky and be visible until roughly March 10.