If you happen to be outside in this beautiful weather tonight, be sure to look up. Venus and Jupiter will be having a close encounter of the planetary kind.
The two planets will appear to converge tonight in what astronomers call a conjunction, according to National Geographic. Venus and Jupiter—the two brightest planets to the unaided eye—will be only three degrees apart in the western skies, or the width of two fingers held up at arm’s length.
While the planets will appear to we earthlings to be almost on top of one another, the conjunction is an optical illusion. Venus is nearly 75.9 million miles away from earth, and Jupiter is seven times farther away at 524 million miles, according to National Geographic.
The planets will be visible for up to four hours after sundown, when they eventually sink below our horizon.
If you snap any photos of tonight’s celestial phenomenon, let us know! Email them to Lindsay.Toler@patch.com or mention @StLouisLindsay in your tweets. Or you can post them on the St. Louis Patch Facebook page.