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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[LINK] “Venus and Jupiter Meet At Last”

Universe Today’s Bob King reports on a conjunction of Venus with Jupiter in the night sky. I actually saw it myself last night before I read this article, hovering in the western night sky above the condos from Queens Quay and Spadina.

The year’s finest conjunction is upon us. Chances are you’ve been watching Venus and Jupiter at dusk for some time.

Like two lovers in a long courtship, they’ve been slowly approaching one another for the past several months and will finally reach their minimum separation of just over 1/4° (half a Full Moon diameter) Tuesday evening June 30.

The view facing west-northwest about 50 minutes after sunset on June 30 when Venus and Jupiter will be at their closest. If bad weather moves in, they’ll be nearly as close tonight (June 29) and July 1. Two celestial bodies are said to be in conjunction when they have the same right ascension or “longitude”and line up one atop the other. Source: Stellarium

Most of us thrill to see a single bright planet let alone the two brightest so close together. That’s what makes this a very special conjunction. Conjunctions are actually fairly common with a dozen or more planet-to-planet events a year and 7 or 8 Moon-planet match-ups a month. It’s easy to see why.

All eight planets travel the same celestial highway around the sky called the ecliptic but at different rates depending upon their distance from the Sun. Distant Saturn and Neptune travel more slowly than closer-in planets like Mercury and Mars. Over time, we see them lap one another in the sky, pairing up for a week or so and inspiring the gaze of those lucky enough to look up. After these brief trysts, the worlds part ways and move on to future engagements.

More is at Universe Today, with King looking at how conjunctions work.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 30, 2015 at 10:45 pm

Posted in Science

Tagged with , , , ,

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