Chinese Lunar New Year 2023 this weekend brings a ‘green comet’, very close planets and the biggest new moon in 1,337 years

Next Sunday in Asia will mark the start of the “Year of the Rabbit” with the Chinese Lunar New Year once again.

The huge holiday always begins on New Year’s Day, the second month after the December solstice. This year, New Year 4721, it will be due to an unusual new moon – the “super new moon” and the closest moon to Earth in a period of 1337 years.

It marks the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year and also comes on the same weekend when Saturn and Venus can be easily seen in a rare conjunction and a so-called “green comet” is visible in the night sky.

Here’s what you need to know about the three sky events this astronomical holiday:

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The biggest Supermon since 1030

The moon has an elliptical orbit around the Earth each month, so the distance between the two is always getting smaller and smaller. There is always a point each month when it is closest (rock bottom) and furthest (Apogee). As reported by, this weekend’s new moon just so happens to occur on the rock bottom, and that this is particularly close. In fact, the closest is since 1030 – 992 years ago – and the closest is in the period of 1337 years. In fact, it will only be a few miles shorter than usual, but coastal “tides” are expected in its wake next week.

However, since this is the new moon – when our satellite is between Earth and the Sun – it will be completely lost in the glare and impossible to see.

Look for it to appear as a beautiful, ultra-thin crescent in the southwest just after sunset on Monday and Tuesday evenings.

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A rare green comet over the course of 50,000 years

A green comet pierces the night sky for the first time in 50,000 years! is what you’ll be reading everywhere this week. It’s a little misleading because many comets are green in the images, however Not to the eye through small telescopes and binoculars, which is what Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) requires. And he certainly is Not A line in the sky, though, if you look at it through a telescope and you’ll notice that it moves every few minutes.

Although you can see it very low this weekend in the northern sky (there are some helpful star charts at Sky and telescope) It’s going up all the time. If you want to catch something easy, it might be best to wait until Sunday, February 5, when it will pass close to the winter bright star Capella.

By then, it should be a much brighter, higher, and easier-to-see object after dark. If it stays bright, it will be visible near Mars on the weekend of February 10-12.

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A rare conjunction of Venus and Saturn

Best seen after sunset in the southwest on Sunday, January 22, 2022 will be the conjunction of the planets Saturn and Venus. Both will be relatively low in the Pos-sunset sky. However, this is a particularly close association.

Venus, which is bright at magnitude -3.9, will pass 0° 21′ south of Saturn, which is dimmer at only 0.7 magnitude. If you use a small telescope or a pair of binoculars, you will see both together in the same field of view.

All the planets in the solar system – including the Earth – orbit the Sun in the same plane, so they often appear to pass close to each other as seen from Earth. It’s just a line-of-sight event.

I wish you clear skies and wide eyes.

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