Aussies – Look To The Skies!

Later this week, Jupiter and Venus will have their closest encounter until 2065.

Sky-watchers across the globe are in for a great show at dusk on Saturday, as two of the brightest celestial objects will have a super close encounter.

Venus and Jupiter will appear very low in the western sky, and they’ll seem to be quite close to each other, too. They’ll be just about 10 arc-minutes apart – that’s equal to only a third of the diameter of the moon’s disk.

RELATED: August Guide To The Skies

Since this conjunction will be taking place so low to the horizon, the planets will be battling the glare of the twilight.

Plan on using binoculars to make sure you get the best view of this special sky event. Stay tuned for a special viewer’s guide later this week.

The most massive planet in our solar system, with four planet-size moons and many smaller satellites, Jupiter forms a kind of miniature solar system.

Jupiter resembles a star in composition. In fact, if it had been about eighty times more massive, it would have become a star rather than a planet.

Jupiter's appearance is a tapestry of beautiful colours and atmospheric features. The planet's "stripes" are dark belts and light zones created by strong east-west winds in Jupiter's upper atmosphere.

Within these belts and zones are storm systems that have raged for years. The Great Red Spot, a giant spinning storm, has been observed for more than 300 years.

Venus and Earth are similar in size, mass, density, composition, and distance from the sun. There, however, is where the similarities end.

Venus is covered by a thick, rapidly spinning atmosphere, creating a scorched world with temperatures hot enough to melt lead and a surface pressure 90 times that of Earth.

Because of its proximity to Earth and the way its clouds reflect sunlight, Venus appears to be the brightest planet in the sky.

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