Catch Venus, Mars and the moon close together in the night sky

The brightest object in the night sky, the moon is shown flanked by three planets: Venus (below); Mars, just above the moon; and Jupiter (top), as seen in Portal, Arizona, December 6, 2015.

(CNN)Skywatchers are in for an (inter)stellar treat this week. Look up and you can gaze upon a dazzling view of Venus, Mars and the moon Monday and Tuesday nights, according to EarthSky.

Venus and Mars have been moving toward one another all weekend, culminating in their closest meeting during the early hours of Tuesday, July 13, around 3 a.m. ET. As seen from Earth, the planets will appear only half a degree -- or only a finger's width -- apart, according to NASA. This meeting of planets in the sky is referred to as a planetary conjunction.
This is just an illusion, of course, because the two planets are extremely far apart in reality.
    "Even during this conjunction, they will still be many millions of miles apart," said Giada Arney in a video on NASA's website. "But from our point of view here on Earth, they will appear to be close together." Arney is a research space scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and a deputy principal investigator of the upcoming DAVINCI+ mission to Venus. DAVINCI+ stands for Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging Plus.
      Since this timing coincides with the young moon's return to the night sky, the conjunction of Venus and Mars will appear alongside a slim crescent moon that is only 10% illuminated.
      Most observers will be able to see the three celestial bodies both Monday and Tuesday evenings, according to NASA. Viewers can look west about 45 minutes after sunset to spot the event these nights, but it can be viewed through July 14 if there are clear skies.
      Venus, the closest to Earth and the brightest planet in the night sky, will appear very slightly above the red planet. Mars, planet of war, mythologically speaking, will be much smaller and dimmer in comparison to the glowing Venus, planet of love. First look for gleaming Venus, then shift your eyes slightly below for the smaller speck that is Mars.
        Venus and Mars are both in the night sky in July, slowly approaching and eventually passing one another. Venus started the month below Mars and is moving up and away from the setting sun as the red planet drops and approaches the setting sun.
        The red planet is most visible at the start of July and becomes more difficult to spot as the month comes and goes, according to EarthSky. You likely won't see it at all come August. Venus, however, will remain in the evening sky for the rest of the year, reaching its greatest brightness on December 4 along with the new moon.
        The conjunction is just one of the spectacular events you can catch in the night sky this year. Here is what else you can look forward to in 2021.

        Full moons

        Typical of a normal year, 2021 has 12 full moons. (There were 13 full moons last year, two of which were in October.)
        Here are all of the full moons remaining this year and their names, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac:
        July 23 -- buck moon
        August 22 -- sturgeon moon
        September 20 -- harvest moon
        October 20 -- hunter's moon
        November 19 -- beaver moon
        December 18 -- cold moon
        Be sure to check for the other names of these moons as well, attributed to their respective Native American tribes.

        Meteor showers