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Shine bright. Jupiter and Venus will create a brilliant “double star” in the sky after sunset on June 30th.

Venus and Jupiter will converge in the skies tonight in a rare celestial event

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Jupiter and Venus are set to come together in an epic sky event. (Source: Screenshot of NASA video) 

  • People in the UK and US can spot Venus and Jupiter together tomorrow
  • From the UK they will be visible above the western horizon after 10.30pm
  • In the US they will be visible in the same direction after sunset
  • This chance alignment of the two planets is very rare
  • Some claims similar alignment was responsible for Star of Bethlehem

Venus and Jupiter will be visible near each other in skies around the world 30th june  and Wednesday in a rare conjunction event.

The planets, which are hundreds of millions of miles from each other, will for a short period of time seem to be galactic neighbours, passing so close they seem to merge.

It will be the closest conjunction of the two planets until August 2016.

The two planets are the brightest in the night sky as seen from Earth.

The line-of-sight illusion is caused when the orbits of Venus and Jupiter line up on the same side of the sun as seen from Earth.

As Venus orbits in 225 days, Earth in 365 and Jupiter in 4,330, the chance of such as alignment occurring is fairly rare.

The next in August 2016 will be visible only from certain latitudes, while they will not be seen in UK skies like this again until November 2019.

In the UK, the best time to look will be between 10.30 to 11pm towards the west-northwest horizon.

The further north and west in the UK you are, the later you should look.

In the US, the best time will be just after sunset, above the western horizon.

Sky & Telescope said they will be so close together they will look like a ‘tight, brilliant double star in the evening sky.’

Nick Howes, an astronomer working with the Kielder Observatory in Northumberland, told MailOnline that Jupiter would appear circular, while Venus will appear as a crescent.

‘The angular separation between the two planets will be so small that the tip of your little finger at arms length will cover it,’ he said.

‘To see it you’ll need a clear west-northwest horizon, and it will be spectacular in small telescopes and larger binoculars as you’ll get to see the phase of Venus as well as the moons and major gas bands of Jupiter as well.’

Venus Jupiter graphic.jpg

The planets will appear 22 minutes of arc apart, which is a measurement used in astronomy to track the size and positions of objects in the night sky.

For comparison, the full moon is 30 minutes of arc across.

A small telescope or a pair of binoculars will easily resolve the two planets, and show them in the same field of view.

Venus is now just over 56 million miles (90 million km) from Earth and Jupiter about 10 times further at 560 million miles (900 million km).

But Jupiter is also 11.8 times bigger than Venus, which means that the two planets will appear as a similar size.

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This image shows Venus and Jupiter together during a previous conjunction on 10 Mar 2012 in Alberta, Canada

‘The spectacle of the two brightest planets so close together is beautiful and really unusual,’ said Robin Scagell, vice-president of the Society for Popular Astronomy.

‘Many people will wonder what they are seeing – but it’s just a natural coincidence.

‘On Tuesday Jupiter will appear almost directly above Venus, but the pair will also make a striking sight for an evening or two on either side.

‘It’s a beautiful sight, and one which everyone can enjoy. It’s unusual for two such bright planets to be so close together, particularly in the midsummer evening sky.’

 

 

As NASA says Venus and Jupiter are so bright in the sky, you will see them shining in the sky even before the sun is down.  The main event occurs on June 30 and according to NASA that night the difference between Venus and Jupiter is 1/3rd of a degree apart, which is “less than the diameter of a full Moon”.

 

 

source : – dailymail.co .uk & Nasa 

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