Two brightest planets in the Solar System converge

two-brightest-planets-solar-system-converge

Two brightest planets in the Solar System – Venus and Jupiter – are joining together for a beautiful early morning view. The show started on August 15 with Venus and Jupiter little more than 2 degrees apart. These two worlds haven’t paired so closely since 2000.

The best time to look will be 30 – 60 minutes before sunrise on Monday, August 18, when Venus and Jupiter will be just 2/10 of a degree apart. The closest approach happens around 05:00 UTC.

Optics are not required to see this bright pair, but if you have binoculars use them. If you use a telescope you will easily notice that they are not alone. The planets will be converged right beside M44, the Beehive Cluster, which is located about 500 light years from Earth. This busy cluster of stars is barely visible to the naked eye and it should be an easy target for ordinary binoculars.

This conjunction favors observers in North America and Europe and improves as mid-August unfolds.

Video credit: Science @ NASA

Featured image credit Stellarium

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