Solar Eclipse is not the only reason this weekend for skywatchers to get all excited about. There is another rare phenomenon that is happening for up in the sky! Two of the brightest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Venus are about to touch! At least, that’s what it will look like from Earth. Though, in reality, they will be millions of miles apart from each other, skywatchers will still be able to see a virtual union of Jupiter and Venus. They will appear to be close enough to almost collide in planetary conjunction that occurs once a year.
A planetary conjunction is basically a view when two planets appear close together in the Earth’s night sky. However, this year, the bright planets of our solar system Jupiter and Venus will look much closer together than usual. That means, they should be visible to you with just a pair of binoculars or maybe even the naked eyes! And this rare celestial spectacle won’t occur again like this until 2039. That means if you have missed it, then you will have to wait another 17 years.
How to watch the union of Venus and Jupiter?
The planetary collision of Venus and Jupiter will gradually make its appearance on Saturday! The best time to catch this rare planetary conjunction was Saturday at around 05:00 BST! No, you haven’t missed it. You still have a chance. In reality, the actual orbit of the planets is about 430 million miles apart but it gives an illusion of touching each other from Earth due to their apparent alignment. After today’s peak sight, Venus and Jupiter will slowly go their respective ways in the coming days.
Hence, the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus will be visible on Sunday and in the coming days. You need to know that the pre-dawn time is the best to look out at the East before the Sun rises to catch the meeting of Venus and Jupiter. Also, there will be differences in the brightness of the planets, the brighter one will be Venus.
BBC report suggests the location of the planetary conjunction as “The planets will be low down in the sky, close to the horizon, and hills and buildings will block the view. If you can, find a high spot and look for two dazzlingly bright spots very close together.”