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Look West at sunset Tuesday for a planet pairing

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Posted at 6:29 AM, Mar 13, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-13 06:48:49-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Skies will be mostly clear at sunset in central Virginia this Tuesday evening, allowing you to see a planet pairing above the western horizon. Look west around sunset (7:16 p.m. in Richmond) and you’ll see two bright lights that do not “twinkle” like a star in the sky. Those are two planets very close to each other, Venus and Jupiter.

SpaceWeather.com Sky map

These two planets will be a mere three degrees apart from each other (from our viewing perspective here on Earth), near-perfectly side-by-side.

Check out this photo taken in Stagecoach, Colorado by Jimmy Westlake of Jupiter and Venus on Monday. Westlake describes how he captured this stunning picture of the two planets March 12, 2012:

PHOTO: Jimmy Westlake in Stagecoach, CO

“This image is a 30 second guided exposure with a Nikon D-700 at ISO 3200 and a 300 mm Nikkor lens at f5.6. The spikes are caused by the light from the dazzling planets diffracting at the intersection of the diaphragm blades within the lens. A close look will reveal the Galilean satellites Ganymede (above) and Europa (below) the image of Jupiter on the left.”

Enjoy the sky-show this evening!

–Meteorologist Carrie Rose
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