Jun 16, 2019 | Updated: 11:54 AM EDT

The Month of Love—When the Stars & Planets Align

Feb 03, 2015 03:32 PM EST

Venus & Mars
(Photo : CloudFront)

As the month of love kicks off, with Valentine's Day only a few days away, gentlemen out there are looking for the perfect gift. Money not being an object, diamond and floral sales skyrocket in February, but even in spite of the size of their trust funds, no man is able to buy a perfect night sky. Fortunately for them, however, February will be a skywatcher's dream even without any meteor showers on the near horizon.

Know that old saying: Women are from Venus, men are from Mars? Well in what seems to be a cosmic date, this February both Venus and Mars will meet in the night's sky just after sunset in the weeks to come. 

Namer after the Roman goddess of love, Venus is a light colored gem in the sky. In the southwest sky after sunset, Venus this month will shine brilliantly like a diamond at -3.9 magnitude, even in the heavy light-pollution of urban skies. Just above the horizon, sky gazers will also see the dim reddish hue of Mars at a 1.3 magnitude, courting Venus during the month of love.

And as the month progresses, the two will meet, along with a crescent moon on Feb. 20 when the three are closest together in the sky. So closely bundled together the celestial sights will be difficult discern at first, especially in the presence of other light pollution sources aside from moon. But on the following night, Feb. 21, when the moon begins to break away, Venus and Mars will both be visible and easy to see. The loving sight, however, will be short-lived as in the days after that the planets will separate by a large degree.

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