Jupiter And Venus To Appear As Double Star Tonight

The two planets will appear to be just a fraction of a degree apart in the sky on Tuesday night.

The conjunction of the Jupiter and Venus may explain the “Star of Bethlehem” described in the Bible, and those wishing to witness the celestial event should look west-northwest a short while after sunset, writes Michael Pearson for CNN.

Jupiter And Venus To Appear As Double Star Tonight

Jupiter and Venus conjunction: Catch a special planetary conjunction tonight

“To the eye they’ll look like a double star,” writes Sky & Telescope editor Kelly Beatty. Conjunctions between planets occur on a fairly regular basis, and Sky & Telescope explains that the event is caused by the alignment of the Earth, Juipter and Venus within the solar system.

However, tonight’s conjunction is set to be a special one. The planets will appear to be just one-third of a degree apart, and people across large swathes of the Earth will be able to witness the event without staying up until the early hours. This combination of factors has led Rice University astronomer Patrick Hartigan to write that tonight’s event ranks “very highly” compared to other conjunctions.

Should you miss the show this evening, other conjunctions between Jupiter and Venus will occur in August and October this year. However the next time that the two planets will appear so close together in our sky will not be until 2023, according to Hartigan.

Hope for clear skies tonight

Although the planets will appear to be incredibly close, they will in fact be separated by millions of miles. “These planetary groupings in the sky have no effect on Earth or human affairs — except for one,” said Sky & Telescope senior editor Alan MacRobert. “They can lift our attention away from our own little world into the enormous things beyond.”

Jupiter and Venus are the two brightest planets that we can see from Earth, and those readers in North America will be able to observe the event if there are clear skies.

Keen stargazers will have noticed that Jupiter and Venus have been edging closer and closer together over the course of the past few weeks, and tonight will be the culmination of their celestial dance.




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While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com