SPOKANE – Jupiter and Venus are mingling a few finger lengths away in the northeastern skies in the early-morning hours this week. They were at their closest on Monday morning.
It was an occasion amateur astronomer Peter Balholm didn’t want to miss. He carted his 60-pound telescope out to Cliff Drive for the vantage point he was looking for.
Balholm said in his 15 years, he has only seen two planets at the same time through his telescope once before. And the last time Venus and Jupiter were in that close of proximity, he didn’t see it.
“I got clouded out,” Balholm said, “so this has been sort of a personal crusade for me.”
The best view time for the pairing is between 4-5 a.m. They are now edging slightly further apart every morning, but will draw very close again in the evening in June 2015.