Venus and Jupiter conjunction - Panama - March 2023

By Neill Sanders posted 03-22-2023 10:20


Hi, folks! I want to share the wonderful experience of observing the recent conjunction between Venus and Jupiter earlier this month.  The two bright planets were visible close to each other in the early evening skies at the beginning of March 2023, and I was fortunate to witness this event at an incredible location.  At the time of the conjunction, I was holidaying (on vacation) with my wife at Mount Totumas Cloud Forest in the highlands of Panama.

Bellbird lodge at Mount Totumas in Panama bathed in the light from the full Moon
Bellbird Lodge and Mount Totumas bathed in Moonlight

On the 1st of March, Venus appeared slightly below Jupiter in the evening twilight just after sunset; it was an incredible view! With my spotting scope, I offered fellow guests, including those from Germany and France, the opportunity to see the planets up close.

Venus and Jupiter conjunction at Mount Totumas on 1st March 2023
The 2nd March 2023 was the date of the closest conjunction when the planets were nearest to each other in the sky. Through the spotting scope, we could see Venus, Jupiter and four of Jupiter's Moons in the same field of view. There was a lot more cloud about; the mountain range of the continental divide mixed air, causing a mist known locally as "bajareque", causing the two planets to appear larger in this photo.
Venus and Jupiter closest conjunction from Mount Totumas
On the 3rd March 2023, Venus had moved above Jupiter, it's progress from below Jupiter taking only a few Earth days and demonstrating Venus's fast movement through the inner solar system.
Venus and Jupiter conjunction at Mount Totumas on 3rd March 2023
I hope you witnessed this wonderful astronomical event! Thanks for reading; clear skies!