See Venus and Jupiter dancing in the sky


Daniel Tanksley, writer

On August 27, about thirty minutes after sunset, Venus and Jupiter will come super close to each other—only five degrees above the horizon! The two planets won’t come this close to one another again until 2065!


Where and how to experience the event

To have any chance of seeing this rare experience, find high ground with a clear shot of the west. Jupiter and Venus are getting closer each night, so you don’t have to wait until the 27th to see them.

Sunset rock should be the best local place to see the planets.

If time is short and you can’t get to Sunset Rock, this location works well too (this is where the pictures were taken): 35.114495, -85.031051.

To figure out where five degrees is from the horizon, take your fist at arm’s length with the horizon on the bottom of your fist. The top is 10 degrees, so on the 27th everything will happen at half of your fist.

You don’t need any extra equipment—the naked eye will be able to see it well. If that’s not close enough, a pair of good binoculars can help too or a telephoto lens on a DSLR (a tripod would really be helpful).

Happy watching! For more information visit in skywatchers.

moon 1

moon 2