Venus and Jupiter, the two normally brightest planets in our sky, are moving closer in skies worldwide, and will group in the most spectacular conjunction of two planets seen in several years at the end of November. The two reach just over 2 degrees apart in our sky on Nov. 29, and are slightly closer on Nov. 30. Until Dec. 1 (when the two planets lie nearly parallel), look for bright, whitish Jupiter in the southwestern sky above brighter Venus. Jupiter and Venus are both highest each evening in evening twilight but lose altitude early, setting in the west-southwest around 8:20 p.m. during the last week of November.
The public is invited to join Flandrau, the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association and UA Students for the Exploration and Development of Space for special free telescope viewing of this planetary duo, and other celestial objects. Donations are encouraged.
The public also is invited to attend a special talk by Patrick Woida, Phoenix Mars Scout Mission senior engineer at The University of Arizona. Woida will talk about the recent Mars exploration with the Mars Phoenix Mission, detailing what we've learned and have yet to understand, and will describe and tie in to this spectacular planetary grouping of Venus and Jupiter. His presentation will start at 8 p.m. both nights, last about 45 minutes and costs $7.50 per person for adults.