This weekend, Jupiter and Venus, two of the solar system’s brightest planets, will appear to almost touch in a rare celestial spectacle. However, they will be millions of miles apart in reality. Though, they appear to be very close. Those interested in gazing at the sky should not muss this as this planetary conjunction occurs once a year. Though Jupiter and Venus will look much closer together than usual this year. They should be visible with just a pair of binoculars or even with the naked eye. If someone misses it, he has to wait for the next 17 years to have a look at this event.
All those planets Saturn and Mars along with Jupiter and Venus will appear to be in a straight line. An astrophysicist at the Australian National University, Brad Tucker said that the planets had been coming closer together over the past couple of weeks. Although every few years, Venus and Jupiter come close to one another. There is also Mars and Saturn in the mix this time and that’s very rare. One can get a better view if you have a telescope, a pair of binoculars, or a decent camera. Though they would seem to be very close they will be 430 m miles apart in the orbit.
When will this be observed?
In the UK, the peak time to see the event is at about 5 am on Saturday. That should be done from a high point with a clear eastern horizon. However, it will still be possible to see that view on Sunday and the following days as the planets go far from each other. It might not be possible to view from London but the farther you go towards the west, the closer the planets will appear to be. The skygazers in Sydney, Australia, will get a clear view of the pair of planets. This is due to rise in the east at about 3.30 am local time on 1 May.
A great event for stargazers
The chief stargazer at the Society for Popular Astronomy, Prof Lucie Green, told BBC News that the brightness of the stars will be varying. Since Venus is brighter than Jupiter so it will look dazzlingly bright when you see it. Jupiter will be about one-sixth of the brightness of Venus as it is slightly fainter. This particular formation created by Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, and Mars will not be seen again until 2040. This weekend is going to give a great experience to the stargazers.
A planetary conjunction is an event wherein two or more planets seem to be very close to each other but in reality, they are miles away from each other. This phenomenon occurs every year as the planets orbit the sun. But this time they will appear very close to each other than they are usually. The event is quite exciting as it’s a rare one.
1. What’s the distance between Venus and Jupiter?
Venus and Jupiter are about 430 million miles apart.
2. What’s the duration of occurrence of this event?
The phenomenon happens every year as the planets orbit the sun, but this weekend the heavenly bodies appear much closer than usual. The same spectacle will not be repeated until 2039.
3. Do you need any special instruments to see the view?
If there is a clear sky, the naked eye or binoculars will be enough to see the planets just above the horizon in the east.
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