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A conjunction for the ages

September 2005: A stunning sight awaits viewers in early September, when Venus and Jupiter have their most spectacular evening conjunction in more than 3 years.
Blazing beacons Venus and Jupiter appear striking as twilight falls in early September. Scan for them low in the west-southwest 30 to 45 minutes after sunset. The sky darkens quickly at this time of year, so the two brightest planets become more prominent as the minutes pass. But make sure you have an uncluttered horizon — otherwise, the pair will be lost behind trees or buildings.

Although Jupiter shines brightly, Venus dazzles in comparison. And while Venus gleams a pure white, Jupiter shines a few shades toward pale peach. Watch how their colors deepen toward orange, and even red, as they descend through Earth's thick lower atmosphere.

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