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Venus meets Jupiter

Venus and Jupiter put on a spectacular show before dawn as the two brightest planets pass within 0.2° of each other August 18. In the evening sky, Mars joins Saturn late in the month.
Venus (right) and Jupiter stood above the Basilica of Saint John Bosco in Castelnuovo Don Bosco.
The sky’s two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, put on a spectacular show in mid-August. Rarely do these luminaries come as close to each other in a nearly dark sky, which makes this predawn conjunction the month’s top celestial event. As a bonus, the pair lies next to the wonderful Beehive star cluster (M44).

The evening stage features a nice show starring two lesser lights. Mars passes Saturn in late August, an occasion that provides a striking color contrast in addition to the normally stunning views of the ringed planet through a telescope. The overnight hours belong to the distant ice giants, Uranus and Neptune. The latter planet reaches opposition and peak visibility this month, but both are easy to find through binoculars.

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