Universe

Venus-Jupiter conjunction. Observing the Universe

Venus-Jupiter conjunction. Observing the Universe

On June 30, 2015 the planets Venus and Jupiter began to approach visually in the western sky. This photo was taken on July 2 by Letian Wang, a fan of astrophotography, in the late afternoon in Bejing, China. Wang managed to capture with a telescope the two bright planets in the same frame in which the Moon was.

Venus and Jupiter continued to approach in the following weeks, becoming practically together in the night sky. But in reality, it is only a visual phenomenon. From Earth, when we look at the sky we observe how the Moon and planets move through the sky. The Moon moves around us, but the planets do it around the Sun. From our perspective, sometimes it seems that planets as distant as Venus or Jupiter come together.

Venus has a size very similar to that of the Earth, and revolves around the Sun in an orbit more internal than ours. We can see this planet at sunset or sunrise. For its part, Jupiter is a giant planet, 319 times larger than Earth. Orbit the Sun in an orbit more external than Earth.

The orbits of Venus and Jupiter are separated, at least, by about 670 million kilometers, so it is physically impossible for them to be close to each other. However, and all this due to our perspective from Earth, it seems that both planets can approach until almost touching each other.

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