Mercury and Venus will be at their closest until 2033 tonight, but may be hard to spot

Mercury and Venus will appear close to each other just after sunset on Friday, May 28, in the west-northwestern sky. (Image credit: Starry Night) If youre up for an observing obstacle, Venus and Mercury will meet in the night sky Friday (May 28) for their closest encounter until Nov. 5, 2033.

Follow the right-hand side of Gemini towards the horizon, and simply below and to the right, you ought to see Mercury and Venus a mere 0.4 degrees apart. (As a perk, the bright red star Betelgeuse is just hardly above the horizon, so you may be able to see that too.).

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Youll most likely see Venus initially as its shining at a dazzling magnitude -3.8, similar to the International Space Station at its finest. “Mercury has diminished to a mere magnitude +2.3, only 1/275 as bright,” Sky & & Telescope stated. “So bring binoculars or a telescope to pick Mercury out of the skyglow.”.
The planets will remain fairly close in the sky for a couple of days, prior to Venus continues to climb up away form the sun and Mercury sinks into the horizon. Mercury will reappear as an early morning “star” in late June or early July 2021, EarthSky stated, while Venus will remain a night “star” through 2021.
Combinations like the Venus-Mercury encounter are regular occasions in the sky as the planets line up with Earth in their respective orbits. Over the Memorial Day weekend, there are a couple of other night sky occasions you can delight in: a double shadow transit on Jupiter (Friday, May 28) and a gibbous moon near Saturn and Jupiter in the predawn sky of Monday (May 31).

The pair of planets will show up low in the western sky for approximately 30 to 40 minutes after sunset, according to EarthSky. Observing will be difficult offered you may be competing with structures and air pollution to see the planets, so bring field glasses if you can.
Sky & & Telescope suggests looking west-northwest and beginning with the bright stars Pollux and Castor, which are the heads of the Gemini constellation “twins.” Somewhat listed below Pollux and to your left, assuming youre gazing with the naked eye, youll see Mars..
The brightest worlds in Mays night sky: How to see them (and when).

Mercury and Venus will appear close to each other simply after sunset on Friday, May 28, in the west-northwestern sky. Look for Mercury to the left of Venus. (Image credit: Starry Night) If youre up for an observing obstacle, Venus and Mercury will satisfy in the night sky Friday (May 28) for their closest encounter until Nov. 5, 2033.