A rare conjunction of Mars, Venus and Jupiter

From October 24th to October 29th a rare event happened in the sky: Venus, Jupiter and Mars orbited in space forming a so-called “conjunction of planets”.

According to Earthsky.com, the last time they met was in 2013 while the next planetary trio will be in January 2021.

If you managed to wake up early enough in the morning, you might have spotted the triangle near the constellation Leo.

This distance between planets depends on where each planet is in its orbit around the Sun: sometimes they look closer while other times they can appear further away.

Venus takes 225 days to orbit around the sun, whereas Mars takes 2 years and Jupiter 12. Therefore, that makes it possible for us to see them almost overlapping every once in a while.

This time the triangle composed by these three planets shrunk until it reached a width of less than 5 degrees, reaching a peak on Thursday 29.

The conjunction was also visible to the naked eye: Venus and Jupiter are very bright planets therefore it should be easy to spot them with binoculars. On the other hand, Mars is the smallest and it is not highly reflective, but its dusty soil makes it visible thanks to its distinctive copper colour.

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Mara Dambour

Mara Dambour

Learning Zone Writer

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