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Jupiter and Venus to make rare 'cosmic kiss' that's visible in sky tonight
Featured Image Credit: Art Directors & TRIP/Science History Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Jupiter and Venus to make rare 'cosmic kiss' that's visible in sky tonight

If you look up into the sky tonight you'll see something called a 'cosmic kiss' between two planets

Tonight is going to be a good night for stargazers as two of the Solar System's planets will look incredibly close to each other.

It's called a 'cosmic kiss' where two planets appear to be so close that they're almost touching, to the point that if you looked up at the sky tonight (2 March) you could fill the gap between Jupiter and Venus with just a pencil.

Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System, is named after the top dog in the Roman pantheon of gods and is their rip-off of Zeus.

Meanwhile, Venus is their stolen version of Aphrodite, and the planet itself is one of the most oddly behaved as it rotates the other way compared to the rest of the planets.

Fortunately the planets aren't actually going to 'kiss' because that would be pretty catastrophic and quite implausible since they'll be about 400 million miles apart.

It'll just look like they're getting in close to each other rather than actually colliding, which is good news because if the second and fifth planets in our Solar System somehow collided then we'd probably have much bigger problems to deal with.

Venus and Jupiter are the two brightest things in the night's sky after the Moon, and tonight they'll look very close.
Stefan Sollfors / Alamy Stock Photo

If you want to see this 'cosmic kiss' for yourself then look west after sunset (definitely not during, as you'll be staring into the setting sun and that's a very bad idea) and scan the skies for what look like two very bright stars.

Obviously you'll want to do this somewhere far away from major sources of light pollution and be looking up at a cloudless sky, so location will be important if you want to spot this.

Getting up on a hill somewhere your view isn't going to be obstructed by tall buildings is going to be a must.

The planets ought to be hard to miss as Jupiter will be about twice as bright as the brightest star in our sky while Venus will look about six times brighter than that.

This 'cosmic kiss' will actually have a 400 million mile distance, which is probably for the best.
NASA Photo / Alamy Stock Photo

However, if you can't get to a spot when you can see the cosmic kiss for yourself then there are live streams of it happening around the world where you can watch a pair of planets 400 million miles apart appear to be so close they could almost be touching.

As a species we're getting pretty good at spotting cool stuff going on in space and some of the discoveries made have been absolutely fascinating.

Then again, we also know that about five billion years from now our galaxy and the next one over are going to do more than just 'cosmic kiss' as they'll collide into each other, which will toss our planet across the Milky Way.

Topics: Space, Science, News