Observers with clear skies on December 31, 2008 will be treated to a special New Year's planetary show. This special show will consist of a double conjunction! The two conjunctions, respectively, will be between our Moon and Venus, and between Jupiter and Mercury. The image to the right shows the view of this event as seen at 5:45 PM local time on the evening of December 31, 2008 (click image for a larger version). The thin crescent moon will join the bright planet Venus, and thus the two brightest objects in the night sky will be right next to each other. Jupiter, also very bright, will join Mercury very low and near the horizon.
When and Where to Look
To see this spectacular New Year's Eve show, go out into your backyard (or any yard for that matter), and look to the Southwest. The double conjunction event will be visible during sunset and until about 6 PM local time. The Jupiter-Mercury conjunction will set around this time. The Moon-Venus conjunction, however, will be visible until a little after 9 PM local time. The two conjunctions will be fairly obvious, and can be observed with the naked eye.
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