The Moon & Jupiter Will Have a Rare Meeting in the Sky. Here's When to See It.
Look up on the morning of February 27, and you'll see a special pairing grace the sky. There will be a couple of special alignments taking place, but the big one, which will be easy to spot, is a close encounter between Jupiter and the moon...
Look up on the morning of February 27, and you'll see a special pairing grace the sky. There will be a couple of special alignments taking place, but the big one, which will be easy to spot, is a close encounter between Jupiter and the moon.
Look low in the southeastern sky about an hour before sunrise (that's about 5:30am), according to NASA, and you'll see the two orbs nearly touch. The actual convergence will happen after sunrise, but you'll be able to see them nearly touch just before sunrise local time across the country. At least, they'll appear to almost touch. The moon and Jupiter will still be millions of miles apart in reality. The event will be easy to see with the naked eye. Jupiter is the second brightest planet in the night sky after Venus.
Additionally, at that same time, you'll be able to spot Venus and Saturn nearby. They too will be low in the southeast sky, forming a line of bright planets with Jupiter, as seen in the image below from NASA.
Later that night, just after sunset on February 27, you'll be able to spot Mercury with the naked eye. The closest planet to the sun is generally difficult to see because it gets lost in the glare of the sun. However, early in the evening, Mercury will be at its closest approach to Earth for the year. You'll find the planet in the western sky about 10 degrees above the horizon, which is, as NASA helpfully notes, about the width of your fist held sideways.
In addition to the opportunity to see Mercury, the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has issued a G1 geomagnetic storm alert. That means the northern lights will be visible further south that they are under normal circumstances. Parts of the northern United States have the opportunity to see the aurora in addition to the great view of Mercury.
Now you're fully prepared to get up early, snap a picture, and humblebrag about it like that annoying dude you went to high school with and stalk on Instagram.