Jupiter And Venus To Appear As Double Star Tonight

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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.

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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. “The