SINGAPORE, March 25 (The Straits Times/ANN): Stargazers on Friday night would have noticed a glowing orb almost touching the sliver of the new crescent moon.
Is the celestial orb a burning star? Or an asteroid? No, it’s the planet Venus – the brightest natural object that can be seen in the sky with the naked eye, apart from the sun and moon.
According to Space.com, Thursday and Friday nights are when the sighting of Venus would be most visible.
While the heavenly bodies appear close to each other, their actual distance is millions of kilometres apart.
To be precise, the moon is about 375,700km from Earth and Venus is 185,000,000km away.
The United State National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) said the month had started with both Venus and Jupiter – the largest planet in our solar system – being visible in the west.
The Nasa website said: “In our solar system, conjunctions occur frequently between planets because the planets orbit around the Sun in approximately the same plane – the ecliptic plane – and thus trace similar paths across our sky.”
However, both planets would eventually be seen drifting apart as the days pass, it added.
It said: “Venus climbs higher in the sky each night for the next couple of months, while Jupiter dives after the Sun.
“The giant planet appears lower in the sky each night through the month, making its exit as an evening object.”
While stargazers rejoice at the marvellous sight, those with a penchant for astrology similarly celebrated on Tuesday night, with the advent of the new moon in Aries, said several popular astrological portals.
The phenomenon is believed to herald the beginning of the astrological new year, and marks the time for resetting a new chapter in one’s life. - The Straits Times/ANN