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How to see the moon, Venus, Jupiter and Mars line up tonight

How to see the moon, Venus, Jupiter and Mars line up tonight

The moon, Venus (right) and Jupiter (top) seen from Fechy, Switzerland

Alistair Scott / Alamy Stock Photo

Wherever you are in the world,  the moon and Venus will appear close together in the night sky on 24 March. They will also line up with the bright Jupiter and Mars, and the faint Uranus. The moon will be a tiny sliver, with just 12 per cent of the side facing Earth illuminated.

How to spot the moon, Venus and Jupiter

Wherever you live, look west just after the sun has set. You will see two bright objects in the sky, one above the other. These are Jupiter and Venus. Jupiter will be closer to the horizon, setting shortly after sunset. Venus will be brighter and higher in the sky. Look above Venus and you will see the crescent moon. They will both be sitting in between the constellations of Pisces and Taurus.

How to spot Jupiter’s moons

If you have binoculars or a small telescope, you can point them at Jupiter to look for three of its four largest moons, called the Galilean moons. Callisto will be too close to the planet to see, but you might be able to make out Europa, Io and Ganymede, which will appear in a line in this order on 24 March after sunset, with Ganymede the furthest from Jupiter.

How to look for Uranus

Uranus will also be visible but only for those with binoculars and access to a dark sky, away from light pollution. Uranus will be just next to the crescent moon, even closer to the moon than Venus.

How to spot Mars

Draw an imaginary line between the planets and the moon and extend it: even further up from the horizon, you will reach a reddish, bright object. This is Mars. It will be in the constellation Gemini, next to the two bright “twin” stars, Castor and Pollux.

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