NEWS

STARGAZERS: How You Can See The Jupiter And Venus Conjunction From Your House

Worth waking up early for.

14/11/2017 06:17 SAST | Updated 14/11/2017 06:17 SAST

You might not be enjoying November bringing dark mornings and icy weather but it does mean some amazing stargazing opportunities.

It may mean setting your alarm a little bit earlier than normal, the Venus and Jupiter conjunction is probably worth getting up for.

And don't worry, if you missed it on Monday morning, you've still got tomorrow [Tuesday 14 November] to catch a glimpse.

What is the Jupiter Venus conjunction?

The Venus and Jupiter conjunction is when the two planets pass within 17 arc minutes (or 0.28 degrees) of each other in the night sky, following an almost identical path. This distance is roughly equivalent to slightly more than half of the moon's diameter.

NASA says that the conjunction is made possible when the two planets share the same east to west longitude in the sky, although in reality we should remember they are actually 416 million miles apart.

At what time can I see the Jupiter Venus conjunction?

Venus will rise at 5.56 GMT, followed by Jupiter two minutes later, with the actual moment of conjunction occurring at exactly 06.05 GMT.

The two planets will be fairly close to each other in the days ahead of and just after the conjunction, but will be clearest just before sunrise on Tuesday morning.

Even if you don't make it for 06.05, get up before sunrise and you might still be able to catch a glimpse, with the best window being about 45 minutes before. Sunrise in the UK will be at 7.17 GMT tomorrow morning for Londoners.

Where is the best place to watch the Jupiter Venus conjunction?

Unlike many other stargazing opportunities, because Venus and Jupiter are so bright, NASA says you should be able to see them with the naked eye even in light-polluted urban areas.

You will need to be looking very low on the eastern horizon (facing south east) and they will be located west of the moon, which will be a small crescent.

The maximum altitude for observation is about 11 degrees above the horizon, which requires a relatively unobstructed eastern view.

Just remember, though, that a telescope is not required, but you should protect your eyes by not aiming binoculars directly at the planets.

What does the Jupiter Venus conjunction look like?