'Two beacons': Jupiter and Venus line up in planetary conjunction
Published Monday, November 13, 2017 10:54AM EST
Jupiter and Venus appeared to briefly meet in the sky overnight, in a rare planetary conjunction that some captured on camera.
The two planets are actually several hundred million kilometres (and a few planets) apart, but late Sunday and early Monday their orbits lined up in such a way that they appeared to the naked eye as two side-by-side pinpoints of light. The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Monday, with some in the U.K. glimpsing it as the sun rose.
The two planets appear close together approximately once every two years, but Monday they came much closer than usual, York University physics and astronomy professor Paul Delaney said.
“To get as close as this, that is a little rare,” Delaney told CTV News Channel. He said the two planets appeared as bright pinpoints approximately half the diameter of the moon apart in the night sky.
“Venus is incredibly bright. Jupiter is also quite bright, so having these two beacons so close together is a really pleasant sight,” he said.
Delaney said the occurrence, which happened at approximately 1 a.m. Eastern time, was even more enjoyable because the moon was close by and twilight was forming. “In a sense it was almost a triple-header,” he said.
Photos posted online show the two celestial bodies in their brief appearance together.
Here are some pictures of Venus and Jupiter this morning. 1st one just after both appeared from behind clouds. 2nd one in clearer skies. Last one with 300mm lens. pic.twitter.com/vuOyLbxLRr— Brad Timerson (@btimerson) November 12, 2017
thats Jupiter and Venus btw how rare and beautiful it truly is that we exist pic.twitter.com/Hsbuhk8qRk— morningstar☄ (@luxidecker) November 13, 2017
The planets are coming into alignment! Jupiter and Venus this morning just before dawn. pic.twitter.com/ct7OKx58eX— Peter G Knight (@petergknight) November 13, 2017