DR. SKY BLOG

Arizona astronomers: Look to the skies for Venus-Jupiter conjunction

Nov 7, 2017, 2:08 PM | Updated: 7:46 pm
(Photo: NASA)...
(Photo: NASA)
(Photo: NASA)

Over the next few days, observers in Arizona will be able to witness an amazing astronomical event in our skies.

I am referring to the close conjunction of both the giant planet Jupiter and the bright planet Venus. This rare celestial event will be best seen on the morning of Nov. 13, before dawn in the southeast sky.

Look to the southeast sky around 6 a.m. on Nov. 10 and you will see these two objects in close proximity.

The two brightest planets to see on earth are Venus and Jupiter. They are easy to see with the naked eye, if you know where to look.

Venus is the brighter of the two objects and on the left, while Jupiter is on the right side.

To add some extra excitement to the equation, the thin waning crescent moon will be close to this dynamic duo on the morning of Nov. 16, just before sunrise.

This makes for a great photo opportunity and a chance to observe both objects in the same field of view in binoculars and a small telescope.

This also paves the way for the next decent meteor shower, Leonids, which will be best seen in the early morning sky on Nov. 16 and 17.

Venus has been that bright object in the pre-dawn sky and now Jupiter, fresh out of its October conjunction with the sun, will soon join it.

This conjunction is special because in reality, these two objects are on opposite side of the Earth in space.

Venus, the second planet from the sun, is now about 150 million miles from Earth. Jupiter, on the other hand, is the fifth planet from the sun and is about 598 million miles from us.

The last major conjunction of these planets was back in the summer of 2016.

Here is your very own November sky map to help locate many of the objects and events listed above.

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Arizona astronomers: Look to the skies for Venus-Jupiter conjunction