Last week in the skies above the UK the two planets Venus and Jupiter appeared as bright as diamonds in the black night. I quickly grabbed a nice warm cup of coffee from my fancy new espresso maker and made for the back garden with the binoculars.
Despite being a vast distance from each other (Venus is closer to the Sun than the Earth and Jupiter is many times further away from the Sun than the Earth) they appeared to be within touching distance of each other.
Venus is the brightest of the two and Jupiter will appear to move past it in a straight line during March.
But there’s more Venus fun to come in this month when Venus makes a transit of the Sun which will, from some parts of the world, appear as a small black disc moving across the disc of the Sun.
What’s more, this year saw Mars pass the closest to the Earth for many years to come. 2012 is proving a great year for planet gazers.