The distance between the two brightest Planets is going to decrease until June 30th...
They are the two brightest planets in the night sky – the cloud-covered world of Venus and the enormous gas giant Jupiter. Put them together and it’s a double delight. We are set for a stunning sight at the end of the month that’s sure to attract attention.
Over the next fortnight, the two planets will slowly make their way towards each other in the north-western sky. They are visible each evening for a few hours after sunset.
On Saturday, June 20, the thin crescent moon will sit alongside the duo, with Venus below and Jupiter above.
But by July 1, the distance between the two planets will have dramatically shrunk - the pair will mimic a splendid double star.
In real terms, the two planets are over 800 million km apart but to us here on Earth they’ll appear to be almost touching.
In our everyday experience, there’s not much to see changing in the night sky.
The stars appear fixed within their constellations, rising and setting at the same time each year. It’s only on time scales measuring tens of thousands of years that the stars drift far enough to mess with our constellation patterns. It makes for fantastic animations as seen here, but causes no confusion for backyard stargazers.
Other changes are more of the transient kind - meteors, comets, novae and supernovae that on the right occasion can light up the sky quite spectacularly.
Such sights are impressive but there’s something to be said about the stately movements of the planets. They provide an easy focus for checking the sky each night (or month) to see which ones are about and where they sit against the backdrop of the distant stars.
Ne manquez pas la rencontre exceptionnelle entre Vénus et Jupiter dans le ciel par Gentside Découverte