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Venus and Jupiter Will Have a Rare Meeting in the Sky on Sunday Night

venus jupiter close encounter
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November has turned into a surprisingly good month for stargazers despite the Leonid meteor shower being all but washed out by the moon. Surprise appearances from the northern lights and the alpha Monocerotid meteor storm provide a nice companion to the rare conjunction that will appear in the night sky on the night of November 24.

Venus and Jupiter will appear close together early in the evening for the rest of the month. They will hit their closest point just after sunset on November 24. The two brightest planets, as seen from Earth, will pass within 1.4 degrees of each other, per EarthSky. That's about the width of an index finger held at arm's length. In reality, of course, they'll still hundreds of millions of miles apart. 

Just after sunset, the two will hang out in the western sky. Since they're so bright, they'll be the first two objects to light up in the sky at dusk. A Venus-Jupiter conjunction last occurred in January of this year and won't happen again until February of 2021, making it a rare event that's easy to spot. EarthSky notes that it's even more uncommon for the conjunction to occur twice in the same year, with an average distance of 13 months between conjunctions.

Many celestial events require you to get far from the light pollution of the city. In this instance, that'll certainly make the planets brighter, but you should be able to spot the conjunction from just about anywhere in the US as long as you've got a clear view of the western horizon.

They'll be easily identifiable with the naked eye. That means you can casually show off your knowledge to friends while wandering between bars.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.