Venus and Jupiter have a close encounter at the start of March 2023, best seen as they approach the western horizon. Credit: Pete Lawrence
For the UK, the closest evening approach between Venus and Jupiter occurs on 1 March when the planets appear separated by just 36 arcminutes before setting.
The best time to view Venus and Jupiter close together will be around 19:25 UT when they are about 11° up and 38 arcminutes apart under dark sky conditions.
Jupiter will be bright at mag. –1.9, but will be completely outshone by mag. –3.9 Venus.
Relative positions of Venus and Jupiter throughout March 2023 at approximately 19:30 UT, as seen from the centre of the UK. Credit: Pete Lawrence
As has been the case over the past week or so, both planets will be visible with the naked eye, but if you have a pair of binoculars or a telescope, the extra magnification will make all the difference.
Through a telescope, both Venus and Jupiter can be seen in the same field, in a low-power eyepiece.