Look to the skies to see a series of delights over next two weeks

A spectacular celestial sight will be visible for a few hours tonight before reappearing during the week.

Look to the skies to see a series of delights over next two weeks

A spectacular celestial sight will be visible for a few hours tonight before reappearing during the week.

Not only will the closest planet to Earth, Venus, be extremely close to the Moon tonight and visible to the naked eye - it will be joined in the skies by Mars.

"Everyone in Ireland can plainly see this sight with the naked eye," says David Moore, Editor of Astronomy Ireland.

The Moon, Jupiter and Venus. The Moon and Venus will have a similar display beside Mars this week.
The Moon, Jupiter and Venus. The Moon and Venus will have a similar display beside Mars this week.

"Indeed, a quick glance at the Moon between sunset and 9pm will immediately raise eyebrows as this brilliant object (the planet Venus) has not been this close to the Moon so high in the sky for a very long time and this will be the closest they will get all year. We cannot emphasise enough how spectacular this sight will be tonight!"

"Not only this, but just to the upper left of Venus is another less bright 'object' which is in fact the planet Mars. So, there are 3 celestial bodies in close alignment tonight making the event even more remarkable." he said

You can also arrange to see the alignment on Wednesday, as a special watch is planned for tomorrow evening to view the Moon, Venus and Mars up close through telescopes that can show nearly a million times more detail than the human eye can see.

Over the next two weeks, the International Space Station will also blaze across Irish skies every evening just after sunset until February 15.

Better dust off your telescopes!

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