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Moon and planets put on super show

Jeff Berkes Photography

Jupiter, the moon and Venus take starring roles in a sunset sky extravaganza, as captured by photographer Jeff Berkes in Pennsylvania's Chester County.




The glitterati of the solar system turned out this past weekend for an Oscar-worthy show: a triple play featuring Jupiter, the moon and Venus in evening skies. This photo, snapped by photographer Jeff Berkes in Pennsylvania's Chester County, is a classic portrayal.


"The crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter have formed a slim triangle in the western skies at sunset," Berkes told me in an email on Sunday. That's not all: Mars rises in the east a few hours after sunset. This sky guide from Space.com's Tariq Malik provides the details. Even if the skies are cloudy all night, you can still get in on the fun online via Slooh.com's planet-watching webcast.

The moon is shifting progressively farther to the east in evening skies, but anytime this week should be prime time for the planetary extravaganza. Got great pictures? Share them via the Cosmic Log Facebook page or msnbc.com's FirstPerson in-box. You'll also want to get a look at the beauties on Jeff Berkes' website as well as at SpaceWeather.com and Space.com.

Update for 7:30 p.m. ET Feb. 27: NBC News' Brian Williams featured a beautiful time-lapse view of Venus, Jupiter and the moon that was captured on Friday night by Roberto Porto on the road to Teide National Park in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Check it out:

Jupiter and Venus, positioned near one another, are shining brightly in this view from Roberto Porto in the Canary Islands. NBC's Brian Williams reports.

More from Jeff Berkes on PhotoBlog:


Alan Boyle is msnbc.com's science editor. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the log's Facebook page, following @b0yle on Twitter or adding Cosmic Log's Google+ page to your circle. You can also check out "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for other worlds.