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Starwatch: Jupiter and Venus in close conjunction this week

Find an unobstructed view of the south-western horizon to catch the meeting at twilight

Starwatch: Jupiter and Venus in close conjunction this week
The moon with Venus (left) and Jupiter (right) as it rises over Cumbria, taken earlier this year. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

The two brightest planets in the night sky meet for a close conjunction this week. Jupiter and Venus will draw close to one another in the sky during the late afternoon of 24 November.

The chart shows the view looking towards the south-west at 16.30 GMT. The two planets will be close to the horizon and visible only through the gathering twilight.

To ensure that you see them, find somewhere with an unobstructed view of the south-western horizon. Preferably get to your spot around 16.00 GMT and wait. Venus will be visible first, followed by Jupiter. Then follow the planets all the way down as they set. They will disappear from view at about the time when darkness fully descends. Venus and Jupiter are the third and fourth brightest celestial objects in the sky, beaten only by the sun and the moon. So it is well worth making the effort to catch them, especially since their next close meeting in the sky will not happen until February 2021.

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