Dazzling Celestial Dance Featuring Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon

They say two’s company, and three’s a crowd.  Well, in astronomical terms, the opposite is true!  The night sky holds three gems within very close proximity for the next few days: Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon.

Easy to see in the western sky, recent twilights are dazzling with this wondrous arrangement of celestial objects.  Their triangular formation closes in as Venus and Jupiter slowly align closer while the nights pass. The planetary dance peaks on the night of June 30th, when they will be just 1/3° apart in conjunction! Merging the light from the two planets in the sky will create a beautiful and luminous spectacle, one surely not to miss.

Here is my extremely amateur (iPhone quality) attempt at some astrophotography to try and reflect the true enchantment of the three bodies.


And here is a much more profession aspect.

Via: Marco Taddia

Though this brand of conjunctions, or close pairings, are not rare, this one in particular may grasp some interesting history. Last August, a conjunction of Venus and Jupiter also occurred at dawn, making this year a similar one to last. The two year streak was also observed in 3-2 BC, and may be attributed to the Star of Bethlehem.

Take time this week to view these lovely gems dance and twinkle together in the twilight.

– Julia


(Source: Sky and Telescope)