Human Journey

It’s a Moon, it’s a plane… it’s Jupiter!

Currently, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon are in the western sky at and after sunset.   This is a picture I took at 5:45pm on February 27, 2012.   The Moon is obvious in the picture.  Venus and Jupiter are small specks of light that are marked in the photograph.   Mercury is not in this field of view—it was lower and further west (down and to the right of the lower right corner of the photograph).   The commercial jet flying by added an extra bonus.

Robert J. Vanderbei is chair of the Operations Research and Financial Engineering department at Princeton University and co-author of the National Geographic book Sizing Up the Universe. Vanderbei has been an astrophotographer since 1999, and he regularly posts new images on his astro gallery website.
  • LOLMan

    didnt get to see this sky

  • greg

    I caught the planets over Denver with a wide angle lens.

  • meera

    I saw something really bright that couldn’t be a star the other day. I was wondering what planet it was. Thx 4 posting that pic.

  • rency

    this shows me that little star over there is jupiter!

  • rency

    thanks NAT GEO sometimes i watch also something animals, planets, and others! this channel is making me learn more!

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (

Social Media