Jupiter and Venus visible to naked eye tonight | Print |
Written by Kari Pritchard   
Thursday, 15 March 2012 11:43

As the sun sets tonight, make sure to be looking to the western skies to see the two brightest planets a mere three degrees from one another.

A conjunction between Jupiter and Venus can be seen in this photo taken in 2008. COURESTY CREATIVE COMMONS

Jupiter and Venus will be visible to the naked eye this evening, as they continue their recent conjunction, a process when planets appear to line up in the sky, said the National Geographic.

The two planets have been in conjunction all week, but will be seen closest together tonight.

“I think it’s primarily interesting for aesthetic reasons. Seeing two bright planets in the same part of the sky doesn’t happen all that often,” James Graham, professor and director of research at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, told thedailyplanet.com.

“The orbital patterns of Jupiter and Venus are quite different. The orbital period of Jupiter is about eleven years so it’s in the same spot in the sky fairly infrequently,” he added.

With the pleasant weather we’ve been having this week and the resulting clear night skies, Graham said the conjunction has become a very pleasing sight.

Paul Delaney, a professor of physics and astronomy at York University, said conjunctions between Jupiter and Venus happen approximately once every two years.

On March 25, a new moon will also be bright in the sky, said Delaney, creating a trifecta of light between the three celestial bodies that will be out of this world.

Delany further explained the process to thedailyplanet.com.


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