NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 25 Feb 2023: Moon shares sky with Venus, Jupiter

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is crescent moon occultation ahead of the Venus and Jupiter conjunction.

| Updated on: Feb 25 2023, 14:37 IST
Best NASA Astronomy Pictures of the week: Double Galaxy Cluster, Comet ZTF and more
1/5 Double Star Cluster (Feb 20) - It is a 100-million-year-old globular star cluster located 160,000 light-years away in the constellation Dorado. What’s unusual about this star cluster is its size and shape is reminiscent of the other ancient star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. However, this double star cluster is not present in our galaxy and belongs in the Large Magellanic Cloud. (NASA/ESA/Hubble/Paul Goudfrooij(STScI))
2/5 Comet ZTF (Feb 21) - It is a mesmerizing picture of Comet ZTF streaking across the skies over Yosemite Falls located in the Sierra Nevada region of California. According to NASA, this comet was discovered by astronomers using the wide-field survey camera at the Zwicky Transient Facility in 2022 in March last year. (NASA/Tara Mostofi)
3/5 Rising Solar Activity (Feb 22) - This picture is a snapshot of the rising activity on the surface of the Sun. This image was captured two weeks ago in a single colour of light known as Hydrogen Alpha. Solar prominences can be observed hurling out from the surface while the Sun’s edges are brighter due to increased absorption of relatively cool solar gas. (NASA/Mehmet Ergun)
4/5 Spiral Galaxy Arp 78 (Feb 23) - A peculiar spiral galaxy called Arp 78 can be seen in this image. It is an enormous galaxy which spans nearly 200,000 light-years across and exists almost 100 million light-years away in the constellation Aries. Arp 78 is also known as NGC 772. Alongside Arp 78, another faint galaxy can be seen, which is NGC 770.  (NASA/Josep Drudis)
5/5 Headphone Nebula Jones-Emberson 1 (Feb 24) - A stellar nebula known as Jones-Emberson 1 also called as the Headphone Nebula owing to its peculiar headphone-like shape. The Headphone Nebula is located about 1600 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Lynx. (NASA/Serge Brunier/Jean-Francois Bax/David Vernet/ C2PU/OCA)
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You can also witness the closest approach of Venus and Jupiter along with the moon next week. Know all details. (Image Credit & Copyright: Fefo Bouvier)

The night sky these days is getting adorned by a special meeting of some celestial objects. Skywatchers must be aware that Venus and Jupiter are all set to make their closest approach soon. Ahead of the conjunction, NASA shared a magnificent image of crescent moon occultation captured by a landscape astrophotographer - Fefo Bouvier. Occultation basically refers to the temporary disappearance of one celestial object as it moves behind another object, as observed from a particular vantage point.

NASA said while sharing the photo, “On February 22, a young Moon shared the western sky at sunset with bright planets Venus and Jupiter along the ecliptic plane. The beautiful celestial conjunction was visible around planet Earth. But from some locations Jupiter hid for a while, occulted by the crescent lunar disk.”

Captured at Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, the dominant gas giant of the Solar System was seen on camera just as it vanished behind the dark edge of the Moon. The tranquil scene of the Río de la Plata and the sky also features a bright Venus, which can be seen shining low on the horizon amidst the fading twilight. The best part is that if you look up at the evening sky next week, you will see Venus and Jupiter in close proximity to each other. When and how? Know all here.

Jupiter and Venus planet conjunction

NASA has confirmed that “there's a meetup happening in the western sky: the crescent Moon sits close to Jupiter, with Venus below them. Jupiter and Venus will continue to cosy up until March 1, when they'll be at their closest.” To see Venus and Jupiter close together in the evening sky, astronomy enthusiasts should direct their gaze towards the west-southwest horizon approximately one hour after sunset. With minimal light pollution and clear skies, it is possible to observe this phenomenon with the naked eye. However, for a more detailed view, a telescope would be necessary.

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First Published Date: 25 Feb, 14:36 IST