STARGAZERS will be keeping their eyes out for Jupiter and Saturn this weekend as the two planets will form a bright triangle with the Full Moon.
The Moon will also be coming into conjunction with both of them too, meaning they’ll all look bright and close together.
Conjunction is a term used by astronomers to explain when two celestial objects appear in a similar position in the sky when viewed from Earth.
Scientists use a range of measurements to define when a planet can be considered as in conjunction, including the coordinate system of right ascension and declination.
For example, if two astronomical objects have the same right accession measurement then they’ll be considered as in conjunction with each other.
You can see this for yourself on July 5 at around 17:38 EDT (21:38 GMT) when the Moon will be in conjunction with Jupiter.
The next morning on July 6, the Moon will be in conjunction with Saturn at around 04:38 EDT (08:38 GMT).
The three objects will form a bright triangle in the sky on the evening of July 5 and will fade into the dawn.
Sunday’s moon will also be special because it’s the Buck Moon.
According to Nasa, the Buck Moon nickname can be traced back to farmers in the US observing “new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads”.
In astrology, conjunctions can be seen as beneficial or detrimental depending on the planet involved.
Some astrologists believe that conjunctions intensify the effect that the planet in question is having on someone’s horoscope.
How far away is Jupiter from Earth?
Learn how long it takes to get the largest planet in the solar system…
- At the closest point in their respective orbits, Jupiter and Earth are around 365 million miles apart.
- But because neither planet spins around the sun in a perfect circle, nor at the same speed, this number fluctuates dramatically.
- When they are furthest apart the planets are 601 million miles apart, more than two thirds farther away than they are at their nearest.
- As it is further away Jupiter takes 11.86 Earth-years to complete one orbit of the sun.
- While we travel around our star we catch up with the gas Giant once every 399 days, causing the gas giant to appear to travel backwards in the night sky.
In other news, a partial penumbral lunar eclipse is happening this weekend.
A massive star in a distant galaxy has baffled astronomers by disappearing without a trace.
Alien life may be lurking in hidden Earth-like ocean on nearby Jupiter moon Europa.
How often do you stargaze? Let us know in the comments…
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