A great spectacle is coming to the sky soon. If you are an adherent of astronomy, you are probably aware that the two brightest planets are Jupiter and Venus. Just imagine the spectacle in the sky when the two will be within 3 degrees of each other. It will definitely be something worth looking forward to on the evening of March 14. To put the “icing on the cake”, the crescent moon will join Venus and Jupiter on the evenings of March 24 and 25. During these dates, make sure to stay out for up to four hours after the sun has set. These are two opportunities that you won’t want to miss.
Defining a Conjunction
In astronomy, a conjunction refers to a phenomenon that occurs when two planets are in proximity as viewed from a given position. A conjunction can either be an inferior conjunction or a superior conjunction. An inferior conjunction occurs when two planets lie in the same line on the same line with the sun. On the other hand, a superior conjunction occurs when a planet passes behind the sun when viewed from the sun.
If you miss this conjunction, you will have to wait until May 28, 2013 for the next chance. However, the conjunction of 2013 will not be as spectacular. The reason for this is that, in the year 2013, the two planets will only set for about 120 minutes. This is the longest period expected for the two to stay in the mid-northern latitude.
For a conjunction to be spectacular, certain factors must be present. The planet Venus must be near the greatest evening elongation. This means that it has to be at the furthest angular distance from the setting sun. In addition, the ecliptic, or the pathway of the planets, has to make a steep angle with the setting horizon. It is of particular interest for astronomy buffs to know that these conditions will be present in the month of March.
The bottom line is that the planet Venus and Jupiter in this month will be a spectacle to behold. It will be the best night in years to witness such an event and the view will be especially spectacular to people living in the northern hemisphere. For those who take advantage of this opportunity, it will be both an exciting moment for viewing and photographing and will offer special memories for years to come.