Spectacular king planet Jupiter shines in the western sky this week, accompanied by a waxing crescent moon and the star Spica.
Just after sunset, Jupiter can be seen in clear skies above the western horizon and between the slender moon and Spica, which is one of the brightest stars, but dim compared to the king.
Jupiter is the solar system’s largest planet, one reason why it is so bright, shining 12 times more brilliantly than Spica, according to EarthSky.org.
While Venus is the brightest planet, it is currently occupying the morning sky, where it will remain for the rest of 2017.
You have until October to catch Jupiter in the evening after dusk.
“A few weeks later, it will re-emerge before sunup to meet with Venus in a close-knit conjunction of the sky’s two brightest planets,” Bruce McClure wrote in his blog for EarthSky.
That conjunction will happen on Nov. 13.
Unfortunately for South Florida, the early evening skies may be full of clouds and thunderstorms through the weekend.
A tropical wave, plus normal diurnal heating, means heavy rain is expected. Up to 6 inches is possible in areas of South Florida over the next several days.