If you were awake during the recent early hours, you must have noticed that one star shines brighter than the others. That star is located in the southwest, and it is called Venus. Another common name of Venus is ‘The Evening Star.’ Nowadays, it is visible, after passing so much time in the dark like pre-sunrise ‘Morning Star.’
It is the best star to see in the sky. Venus’s brightest moment is expected to be on Sunday, November 24, 2019. Venus should pass through the enormous planet Jupiter, in a twilight sky without a moon.
The best time to see Venus covering Jupiter
The perfect timing to see this phenomenon is on November 24, around 45 minutes right after sunset. During this time, Venus will dominate over Jupiter. To be more precise, sunset in New York is at 4:33 p.m. and in Los Angeles is at 4:45 p.m. Check the exact time of sunset for your location.
The position of Venus and Jupiter
As we already said, you need to look carefully at the southwest. You can find these planets around 7 degrees above the horizon. As a piece of wise advice, you shall go somewhere high, where the sky is clear without some obstacles.
The exact location of Venus will be like 1.4 degrees lower to the left of Jupiter. 1.4 degrees can be explained like the width of a finger if you measure with your hand and watch with only one eye.
Why are Venus and Jupiter one next to each other?
They are not that close. The planets’ locations are changing almost every day and night, as a result of their orbit around the sun. They function in the same way as our planet Earth does. We are changing our place in the universe too. So, this phenomenon is just an optical illusion.
Will this phenomenon last the whole weekend?
Yes, it will. But on Sunday, it will be the most spectacular. The ‘conjunction,’ an astronomical term for this appearance, will be the most visible on Sunday.
After the last day of the week, they can be visible on Monday too. They will start with the splitting process, so that on Monday they will be two degrees apart, on Tuesday 2.8 degrees apart, on Wednesday 3.7 degrees and so on,
This process is visible because Venus and Jupiter will be the two planets in the sky that are shining brightest.
When can we expect this event again?
Well, Venus-Jupiter’s unifying processes happen very often. In January 2019, they were 2.5 degrees apart. But, after the conjunction on Sunday, we can see another one on December 11, where Venus and Jupiter will be only 1.8 degrees apart.
Another more spectacular phenomenon is expected on December 21, 2020, when Jupiter and Venus will be in a super-close position.
On December 21, 2020, it will be the last conjunction in the near future, and the next unifying can’t be expected until 2040.
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Image Credit: Shutterstock (licensed by IBMN)/By Vadim Sadovski