December 2, 2008—The heavens smiled down on Earth Monday in a rare celestial trifecta of Venus, Jupiter, and the moon.
The planets aligned—an event known as a conjunction—Sunday night, and were joined by a thin sliver of moon on Monday.
(Related: "Sky Show December 1: Jupiter, Venus, Moon Make 'Frown'" [December 1, 2008].)
The rare planetary meeting was visible from all parts of the world, even from light-polluted cities such as Hong Kong and New York.
People in Asia witnessed a smiley face (above, photographed from Manila, Philippines), while skywatchers in the United States saw a frown.
The three brightest objects in the sky were so tightly gathered that one could eclipse them with a thumb, according to NASA's Web site.
The next visible Venus-Jupiter conjunction will be on the evening of March 14, 2012, but the two planets will appear farther apart in the sky.