Today's Image

Venus and Mars closest on February 21 and 22, 2024

Orange dawn sky over a dark mountain slope. Two 2 dots in the sky, one bigger and brighter than the other.
Here are Venus and Mars photographed by EarthSky’s own Raúl Cortés on February 22 from Monterrey in México. Thank you, Raúl!

The brightest planet Venus and dim, red Mars have been getting closer in the east before sunrise. Mars is just now returning to our early morning sky, after being behind the sun from Earth. It’s been rising higher each morning. Meanwhile, Venus has been descending into the sunrise glare. Did you miss bright Venus and reddish Mars closest together on Wednesday and Thursday? Don’t worry. They’re still up there … although you might need binoculars to spy faint Mars. Enjoy this beautiful gallery of images from photographers at EarthSky’s Community Photos. You can also share your own photos with us.

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Venus, Mars and the moon

On black background, a big grey moon on the right and 2 tiny dots to its left, labeled Venus and Mars.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Eliot Herman from Tucson, Arizona, shared this composite image with us and wrote: “The day after closest conjunction, when weather was better. Note red Mars. The moon was not in frame, its image was captured 2 hours prior to the breaking-dawn capture of Venus and Mars, and inserted for scale to show the separation is greater than the moon’s diameter.” Thank you, Eliot!

Venus and Mars on February 21

Venus and Mars: Dark gray sky over a dark mountain slope on the bottom left. Two labeled bright dots over the mountain.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | EarthSky’s own Raúl Cortés shared this lovely image of our favorite cosmic duo, Venus and Mars, on February 21. Thank you, Raúl!
Red dawn under dark sky, in wide mountain valley, with 2 labeled white dots near the horizon.
Check this wonderful view! Don’t Venus and Mars look amazing? Thank you, Raúl.
Two barely visible white dots for Venus and Mars above dense bare trees in dawn sky. The planets are labeled.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Stephen Bloodsworth from Silver Spring, Maryland, took this photo on February 21 and wrote: “Venus and Mars rising. It was very difficult to see Mars unaided. In fact, I didn’t see it until processing the image. Luckily, it was unobstructed by trees and in a good location.” Thank you, Stephen!
Purple-pink sky with dark clouds. A glowing white dot at the top, and a smaller reddish dot under it, both labeled.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Roberto Burkle at Playa del Carmen, México, took this photo of bright Venus and reddish Mars on February 21. ¡Gracias, Roberto!

Getting ready

Over dark, wooded landscape, a pink and blue sky with a small dot close to the horizon and a bigger dot higher up.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Peter Kisselburgh from Thomaston, Connecticut, shared this image of Venus at the top and Mars on the bottom on February 19. Peter wrote: “I came out this morning to practice my night work, starting to get prepared for the eclipse. I was taking different exposures of Venus and Mars. One frame caught these wild clouds that must have formed and disappeared very fast.” Thank you!
Bright yellow dawn sky, with a dot for Venus, and a silhouetted owl sitting on a branchy tree in foreground.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Eliot Herman from Tucson, Arizona, took this photo of Venus on February 20. Eliot wrote: “Venus-Mars conjunction planning shot session. I set up my telescope, and the morning before the conjunction, I assessed the altitude of Venus above the horizon and the growing glow of breaking dawn to plan the shot. While outside checking the set up, the local owl decided to land on a nearby mesquite and watch my activities. This is not unusual, my astronomy attracts the local wildlife audience, with the javelina checking out the night activities, the hummingbirds watching my solar observations, and often the night hawks buzz me and my telescope at dusk and dawn, and I have had my altercations with large spiders over who has rights to use the telescope space …” Hahaha! Thank you, Eliot.

Bottom line: Did you miss bright Venus and reddish Mars closest together? Don’t worry, we compiled a gallery of wonderful EarthSky community photos, showing this cosmic duo.

February 24, 2024
Today's Image

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