Venus and Jupiter align in a spectacular conjunction
(ABC 6 News) – A conjunction, in astronomy terms, is where two astronomical objects, such as asteroids, planets, moons, and stars, appear to be close together in the sky as observed from the earth.
In this case, it’s Jupiter and Venus.
While the planets both look like they are nearly touching each other, they are actually about 2,000 miles apart (about the length of the moon).
They’re also both on completely different orbital paths.
John Attewell, the Vice President of the Rochester Astrology Club, makes note that planets do not all orbit the sun on the same plane, but orbit it at a multitude of angles.
In addition, Venus orbits the sun faster than Jupiter does.
Venus passing Jupiter in the night sky just before midnight back on March 1st was the peak of the conjunction.
The peak of said conjunction is when they were the closest to each other. Cameras with high-quality zoom or telescopes make it even easier to catch the action.
Attewell has seen through a telescope firsthand. “You could use a telescope and see the moons of Jupiter. Venus doesn’t have any moons.”
If you were looking to catch one of these for yourselves, it’s going to be a while before we see one as bright as this one was.
Venus and Jupiter are the brightest planets that can be seen with the naked eye.
According to Rice University, it won’t be until around 2039 that we see as bright of a conjunction again.
Another thing to point out: Venus appears to be the bigger of the two planets in the photos – but that’s just because it’s much closer to us than Jupiter is.
It depends on the time of day and what is involved.
Other conjunctions will not be nearly as visible due to how much smaller stars and moons are than planets. You also have to be on the lookout when it’s dark out or right around sunrise and sunset because these conjunctions are impossible to spot during the daytime.