Venus and Jupiter converge again for their billions-year-old anniversary

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Venus and Jupiter, practically hugging on the last night of June. (CATHERINE ZAW/The Stanford Daily)
Venus and Jupiter, practically hugging on the last night of June. (CATHERINE ZAW/The Stanford Daily)

Did you miss Tuesday night’s astronomical phenomenon?

After weeks of traveling through the starry sky, Jupiter and Venus finally converged June 30. They were one-third of a degree apart, in other words, closer than the diameter of a full moon. NASA describes them as looking like a double star. Venus was the brighter one, about six times so, than Jupiter due to its reflective clouds and proximity to Earth, despite being just one-tenth of Jupiter’s size.

After tonight, alas, Venus and Jupiter will separate and sink towards the horizon.

But mark July 18 on your calendars! That day, a crescent moon will join the planets once more, their conjunction spanning less than four degrees. Jupiter and Venus will resurface in late August and meet again, albeit farther apart, at dawn on October 26, 2015.

 

Contact Adele Shen at shen.adele ‘at’ gmail.com.

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