If you’re out early today, you will be able to catch a conjunction of the largest and smallest planets in our solar system. Looking just above the horizon in the east-southeast sky, you will see Jupiter and Mercury, which will appear very close together.
A conjunction occurs when one planet’s orbit around the sun aligns with another’s. Even though they are actually millions of miles apart, the alignment makes them appear as if they are orbiting very close to one another, when viewed from Earth. It can almost look like one single, bright star.
This morning, the weather is cooperating for perfect viewing of the Jupiter-Mercury conjunction. The sky is clear, and no cloud cover is expected to move in. The conjunction will be visible to the naked eye, but you will get a better view with binoculars or a telescope.If you miss it this morning, you will still be able to catch it over the weekend. The planets will continue to appear fairly close together, and we will continue to enjoy clear sky.
The last notable conjunction happened around Christmastime. It was called the Great Conjunction, as it was the two biggest planets–Jupiter and Saturn.