A Venus-Jupiter conjunction is visible in the sky tonight.

A Venus-Jupiter conjunction is visible in the sky tonight.

Conjunction of Jupiter and Venus as seen from Giants Cross in Northern Eire

Stephen Emerson / Alamy Inventory {Photograph}

Tonight and tomorrow evening (March 1 and March 2), skywatchers will encounter an uncommon sight as the 2 planets align in area to seem like touching.

Jupiter, the most important planet within the photo voltaic system, and Venus, the brightest, will come collectively in what known as a conjunction. However what is going on on?

“Connections happen when two celestial our bodies — often planets — seem very shut within the sky from our viewpoint on Earth,” he says. martin archer at Imperial Faculty London. “The explanation this occurs is as a result of all of the planets across the solar orbit in roughly the identical airplane, known as the ecliptic. Which means that from any viewpoint, there could also be a time when the planets shall be on the identical angle.”

How do you see this?
It’s doable to see the conjunction, which might be seen within the western sky, with the bare eye. That is because of the dimension of the planets concerned. However you may also use binoculars or a telescope.

How typically does this occur?
it down Kepler’s laws of planetary motionand the way the planets revolve across the solar as a perform of gravity. “It seems that these conjunctions can occur a number of instances,” says Archer. “Inside planets orbit sooner than Earth, so it means we are able to get many conjunctions from our perspective.” Venus and Jupiter conjoin annually.

Why are conjunctions so standard with folks?
In light-polluted areas similar to cities, we often do not see many stars, however we are able to see planets. “With the bare eye, you possibly can often see planets like Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn,” says Archer. “It is fairly cool that the 2 of them are shut within the sky.”

Are Jupiter and Venus really shut?
Though the 2 planetary our bodies seem like touching one another, they aren’t. They’re about 600 million kilometers aside and so there’s nothing to fret a couple of conjunction, though some folks up to now discovered issues associated.

“There was a historical past of those conjunctions being a warning sign,” says Archer. “Actually, as a result of we’re standing in the precise place within the photo voltaic system to see them shut collectively. They are not doing something to one another. It is only a fairly mild present.”


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