Former Beatle Paul McCartney and his band Wings once sang, "Venus and Mars are all right tonight."
If the weather forecast holds up, the Omaha area's night skies Saturday and Sunday could be considered all right, too, when Venus, Jupiter and Earth's moon converge in an unusual alignment.
Forecasters are calling for mostly clear conditions Saturday and Sunday nights, with no cloud cover expected to block viewing.
Venus and Jupiter have already been lining up in the western sky. In mid-February, the two planets were about 20 degrees apart, from a viewing perspective. The gap will narrow to about 10 degrees by month's end.
A crescent moon joins the show this weekend for a triple treat. The celestial event will be visible from around the world at twilight, or just after sunset. The moon will appear closer to Venus on Saturday and closer to Jupiter on Sunday.
The moon then will retreat from view, but Venus and Jupiter will keep drawing closer. The two planets will be about 3 degrees apart by mid-March.
Sunset in Omaha on Saturday is 6:09 p.m.; Sunday's sunset is 6:10 p.m.
David Kriegler of the University of Nebraska at Omaha's physics department said in an email Thursday that the configuration should occur about 6:30 p.m. just above the western horizon.
He said the event will not be exceptionally rare, but it will be "very beautiful." He said the configuration occurs "two to three times a year."
Kriegler said a telescope or binoculars aren't needed.
"Just your eyes," he said.
It can be viewed clearly from within the Omaha city limits, he said.
"Any place in the city or otherwise with a clear western horizon," said Kriegler, who added that he planned to view the planets, should the skies remain clear.
This report includes material from the Associated Press.