Exquisite Venus-Jupiter Conjunction This Weekend

In this animation spanning three evening starting tonight, Venus and Jupiter approach and then switch places over the next several evenings. Maps: Bob King, source: Stellarium
In this animation starting tonight (August 26) and facing due west, Venus and Jupiter approach and then switch places now through Sunday night. They’ll be closest Saturday at dusk. Maps: Bob King, source: Stellarium

I wrote about this in an earlier blog, but I just wanted to give you a reminder about Saturday’s very close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter low in the western sky shortly after sundown. Tonight, the duo will be about 1° apart, on Saturday just 0.1° (⅕ of the moon’s diameter) and on Sunday they’ll separate again to 1° before parting ways. The two planets may appear to almost touch when viewed with the naked eye.

It’s the closest conjunction of Venus and Jupiter this year, so you don’t want to miss it. Face west starting about 25 minutes after sunset and look about 4° (about two fingers held together at arm’s length) above the due west point of the horizon. Since this is very low, be sure you find a location with a wide open view in that direction.

Venus (lower right) and Jupiter low in the western sky during twilight August 26. Credit: Paul Kurimsky
Venus (lower right) and Jupiter low in the western sky at dusk Friday as seen from Tucson, Ariz. They’ll be much closer Saturday evening. Credit: Paul Kurimsky

Venus is the brighter planet, so you’ll see it first. Once you’ve found Venus, use the animation to help you find nearby Jupiter. If you’re having any trouble with either planet sweep back and forth just above the western horizon with a pair of binoculars.

Wow! This photo was taken Saturday at dusk from Rome and shows Venus and Jupiter close and level with the horizon against a beautiful skyline. Credit: Gianluca Masi
(Update): Wow! This photo was taken Saturday (Aug. 27) at dusk from Rome and shows Venus and Jupiter level with the horizon against a beautiful skyline. Credit: Gianluca Masi
Amazing photo taken from Arizona Saturday mid-afternoon (Aug. 27) through a small telescope showing the dramatic brightness difference between Venus and Jupiter. Venus shows a slight gibbous phase, and the equatorial cloud belts stripe Jupiter. Credit: Chris Schur
This amazing photo taken from Arizona Saturday in broad daylight (Aug. 27) through a small telescope shows the dramatic brightness difference between Venus and Jupiter. Venus has a slight gibbous phase, and the north and south equatorial cloud belts stripe Jupiter. Credit: Chris Schur
Venus and Jupiter snug together Saturday evening as photographed from Tucson, Ariz. Credit: Paul Kurimsky
Venus and Jupiter snug together Saturday evening over Tucson, Ariz. Credit: Paul Kurimsky
Saturday night's conjunction from Westborough, Mass. Credit: Jonathan McElvery
Saturday night’s conjunction from Westborough, Mass. Credit: Jonathan McElvery
Montage of free-form views of the twin planets Saturday from Brazil. Credit: Marli de Matos Luis
Montage of free-form views of the twin planets Saturday from an apartment window in São Paulo City, Brazil. Credit: Marli de Matos Luis

Happy planet-finding and please send me a photo at rking@duluthnews.com if you get something you like, so I can share with our readers. (Photographers, thank you all so much for your images! They let people like myself who got stuck with clouds see what we missed.)

5 Responses

  1. Flávia de Lima

    Equalizar as linhas do universo a existencia ( a chave física ) um movimento do tempo eletromagnética e. Tempo de movimentos, rotação . Flávia de Lima

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