The Moon and Venus will 'kiss' in rare celestial spectacle this week

The Moon and Venus will 'kiss' in rare celestial spectacle this week

Valentine's Day may have been and gone for another year, but that doesn't mean you can't have some romance in your life this February as the Moon and Venus will kiss in a rare celestial spectacle this week.

The rare occurrence will take place this Thursday, February 27. On this night, providing that the sky is suitably clear, you'll be able to see a crescent moon and the bright orb that is venus come together for a kiss.

The kiss will be easy to spot because, simply put, on Thursday night, the Moon and Venus will be the brightest objects in the sky.

This is the historic moment Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the Moon: 

So what causes this spectacle? I hear you ask. Well, Venus, which, as many of you will already know is named after the Roman goddess of love, and sometimes the "evening star" when it's particularly bright, is currently mid "apparition", per In The Sky.

In short, this means that it's at the furthest possible distance from the sun.

The moon. Credit: PA Images

Now, providing that you paid a reasonable amount of attention in school, you'll also know that it takes 29.5 days for the Moon to orbit the Earth, and it entered a new cycle on February 23, meaning that on this day, it was barely visible. However, now that it's begun to travel around the Earth again, it will become visible again, resulting in Thursday's crescent moon.

Venus and the Moon follow a near-identical path through the night sky. This is why they will appear to kiss on Thursday night. The path is known as the ecliptic, per Earth Sky.

The planet Venus is pictured below next to a crescent moon, which lasts for a number of days after the Moon's new stage.

A crescent moon and Venus. Credit: PA Images

However, while it might look like the Moon and Venus are kissing on Thursday night, in reality, the two are actually going to be very far apart. The Moon is 249,892 miles away from Earth, and Venus is 84 million miles away, per Space.com.

And don't worry if you don't get the chance to see the kiss on Thursday night, a similar event is taking place on March 28!