Venus and Jupiter are spectacular in March 2012. They’ll be closest in mid-March – and near the moon by the month’s end.
See all five bright planets in late February and early March 2012, including Venus and Jupiter. In fact, in late February and early March 2012, as Venus and Jupiter continue to pull closer, you’ll also be able to see three other planets in the evening sky – Mercury, Mars and Saturn. Mercury will be at its best around March 4. Mars, in particular, will be extremely spectacular to see – because Earth will fly between Mars and the sun on March 3, 2012. So Mars will be at its closest and brightest for this two-year period in early March!
Venus and Jupiter will be at their closest in mid-March 2012. By March 12 and 13, Venus and Jupiter will lie only three degrees apart. Then they’ll be like twin headlight beams shining down on us from the west after sunset. You’ll be able to hide both mighty worlds together behind two outstretched fingertips.
Don’t miss the moon near Venus and Jupiter in late March, 2012. But the show won’t be over yet. Around March 23, 2012 the young moon will once again return to the evening sky. Especially in the Northern Hemisphere, March is a great month to catch sight of an extremely slender crescent in the day or so after new moon. Start looking for the moon around March 23. Then on March 24 and 25, watch the moon move past Venus and Jupiter again.
Bottom line: Do you see two bright objects in the west after sunset? They are the sky’s two brightest planets – Venus and Jupiter – and you can see them simply by stepping outside and gazing toward the west in the hour after sunset. Venus and Jupiter are fantastic to see in late February 2012 and will be at their peak in mid-March 2012.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.