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Saturday 9 December 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Look Up

The planet Venus will be getting very close to us tonight

You don’t need a telescope for this one.

YOUR EVENING WILL be a little bit brighter today – and it’s all thanks to the planet Venus, which will be 100 times brighter than the brightest star.

In what Astronomy Ireland are calling “one of the most amazing sights visible to the naked eye for the whole year”, the planet Venus will be extremely close to the moon tonight, creating a spectacle for stargazers.

In case you’re worried that you don’t have the proper equipment, David Moore, the editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine, says that the sight will be visible to the naked eye.

A quick glance at the moon between sunset and 9pm will immediately raise eyebrows - we cannot emphasise enough how spectacular this sight will be tonight.

Venus has been moving closer to the moon and the Earth for a very long time now as part of its orbit, and tonight will be the closest it will get to the Earth, although it will be significantly more bright tomorrow as well.

shutterstock_344786966 Shutterstock / Vadim Sadovski Shutterstock / Vadim Sadovski / Vadim Sadovski

“Not only this,” Moore continues, “But just to the upper left of Venus is another less bright ‘object’ which is in fact the planet Mars. So, there are three celestial bodies in close alignment tonight making the event even more remarkable.”

Tomorrow night at 7pm, a special watch is being organised by Astronomy Ireland to show all three objects (the moon, Venus and Mars) up close in telescopes that can show nearly a million times more detail than the human eye can see.

The telescope will be set up for the public free of charge, and will be based at Astronomy Ireland’s headquarters.

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