Jupiter, Venus & Moon Wow Weekend Skywatchers with Amazing Views

Jupiter, Venus, the Moon, and Star Trails
Roberto Porto captured Jupiter, Venus and the moon with star trails in the Canary Islands, Spain, Feb. 24, 2012. (Image credit: Roberto Porto)

Skywatchers around the world were treated to a spectacular celestial show over the weekend when Jupiter and Venus lit up the sky with help of a slim crescent moon. And the two bright planets promise to put on an even more dazzling display in March.

The cosmic views of Venus and Jupiter began at sunset when another planet, Mercury, was also visible in the western night sky. On Saturday (Feb. 25), the crescent moon hovered low in the sky near Venus, but by Sunday it had crept higher to shine near Jupiter.

"The moon and planets lit up the sky at dusk, what a beautiful site," skywatcher Scott Tully of Kent, Conn., told SPACE.com in an email Sunday. "As the sky grew darker Mercury shined through the twilight. The moon, Jupiter, and Venus really put on a show tonight I was very thankful for the clear skies!"

Venus and Jupiter have been steadily creeping close together in the night sky, as seen from Earth, over the last few months as they follow their own orbits around the sun. On March 12 and 13, the two bright planets will appear so close that you will be able to cover them with your fingertips, according to a NASA announcement. [More Skywatcher Photos Jupiter, Venus & the Moon]

Skywatcher Jeff Berkes took this image of Jupiter, Venus, and the moon with a dramatic skyscape and foreground trees in West Chester, PA, Feb. 26, 2012. (Image credit: Jeff Berkes)

Tully captured his serene photos of the bright moon and planets, with the red glow of sunset fading at the horizon. He was one of many skywatchers who sent in photos to SPACE.com from across the United States, as well as from Portugal, Spain and other countries, to chronicle the skywatching view. 

In Spain's Canary Islands, photographer Roberto Porto snapped stunning views of the planets and moon from Montaña Samara on the road to Tiede National Park in Tenerife. "The moon and Venus can already be seen, even in daylight!" Porto said via email.

Porto also created an amazing time-lapse video of the planetary conjunction, which he sent to SPACE.com.

In Concord, Mass., veteran astrophotographers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre snapped stunning views of Jupiter, Venus and the moon on Sunday night as they sparkled over Minuteman Monument near the city's historic Old North Bridge. But strong winds on Saturday posed a problem

"It was gusting close to 50 miles an hour, creating wind chills way below freezing!" Aquirre told SPACE.com. "We had to give up after about an hour. The conditions on Sunday night were perfect — clear skies, a light breeze and relatively mild temperatures."

Imelda B. Joson and Edwin L. Aguirre viewed the moon, Jupiter and Venus on Feb. 26. 2012. They wrote: "We captured the photos from the Minuteman Monument in Concord, Massachusetts, at the foot of the historic North Bridge where the American Revolution began." (Image credit: Imelda B. Joson/Edwin L. Aguirre)

Skywatcher and photographer Jack Fusco braved the harsh weekend winds in Bradley Beach, NJ, to catch amazing views of the planets over Sylvan Lake. Fusco took the opportunity to catch a self portrait, snapping a photo of himself in a park bench while marveling at the celestial view.

"I always love watching and identifying planets in the sky," Fusco told SPACE.com. "It's a nice reminder than even in an area with a high level of light pollution you can still see beautiful things in the night sky."

Skywatcher Jack Fusco enjoyed viewing Jupiter, the moon and Venus while sitting on a bench in Bradley Beach, NJ, near Sylvan Lake (Image credit: Jack Fusco)

If you snap an amazing photo of Jupiter, Venus the moon, or any other skywatching target, and would like to share it for a possible story or image gallery, please send images and your comments to SPACE.com managing editor Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com.

You can follow SPACE.com Managing Editor Tariq Malik on Twitter @tariqjmalikFollow SPACE.com for the latest in space science and exploration news on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.