100 days till the transit of Venus…

…and she’s already looking amazing, here to the bottom right of the Moon. Jupiter is just visible in the top left of the picture, taken by yours truly over London about an hour ago.

In case you haven’t looked in the night sky this weekend, get outside right now. What you can see, through the naked eye, is what astronomers call a triple conjunction.

Yesterday and today, the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter have been putting on a dazzling celestial display, coming together in a tight triangle.

Venus, because it is closer to the Sun than Earth, never strays far from the Sun in our sky. Jupiter, being outside the Earth’s orbit, can appear anywhere along the ecliptic – the path of the Sun, Moon, and planets across the sky.

Right now, Venus and Jupiter are gradually growing closer. They’re currently about ten degrees apart. On March 13, there will be only three degrees separating them as they pass one another.

The Moon, meanwhile, is making its monthly trip around the Earth and is passing the two planets this weekend. Last night, it appeared close to Venus, tonight it is nearer to Jupiter.

Today’s triple conjunction takes place 100 days before Venus passes in front of the Sun, an even rarer celestial event that won’t happen again until 2117.

Some of the above via Space.com. There’s an illustrated guide to the Moon-Venus-Jupiter conjunction here and a Nasa video about it here.

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