Skygazers are in for a treat! Mars and Venus, two of the Earth's closest neighbours, will come closest to each other in the sky on Tuesday, so much so that they will appear only a finger's width apart. Imagine! Instead, watch it happen! How?
The "planetary conjunction" can be spotted by their brightness. Venus will appear in dazzling white, perhaps brighter than Mars. Meanwhile, Mars could be seen in a ruby red colour.
According to NASA, if you're on the East Coast, go outside before 10.07 pm local time. Post that, Mars will start setting below the horizon, followed by Venus. On the other hand, moon will only be 10% illuminated by the sun.
If you missed watching it on Monday or the early hours of Tuesday, possibilites are that you may catch the two planets clustered together again after the sun sets.
While it can be viewed with naked eyes, binoculars or a telescope could give you a much clearer view.
Meanwhile, NASA has selected two new missions to Venus, Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor. Part of NASA’s Discovery Program, the missions aim to understand how Venus became an inferno-like world when it has so many other characteristics similar to ours – and may have been the first habitable world in the solar system, complete with an ocean and Earth-like climate.