Look Up!

Venus and Mars align: How to spot celestial conjunctions

If you miss this alignment, another is just around the corner!

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If you looked up in the night sky on July 12, Venus and Mars appeared about a finger’s width apart.

If skies are clear, you can see this alignment until July 14.

In reality, the planets are still millions of miles from each other.

The phenomenon is known as a conjunction.

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Where do you look?

NASA recommends using this map. >>

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For Venus and Mars, this happens roughly every two years.

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But you won’t have to wait too long to catch the next conjunction visible to us on Earth.

Planets, stars, comets, and moons cross paths multiple times per month.

Simply put, a conjunction is an occurrence where two or more astronomical objects appear close together in the sky.

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In December 2020, Jupiter and Saturn appeared right next to each other in a Great Conjunction that happens once every 20 years.

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And later in January 2021, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury crowded together in a somewhat rare triple conjunction.

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But because the sky is constantly changing, there are plenty of celestial meet-ups that will happen in the coming weeks.

There are a few more on the calendar for July, such as the conjunction between Earth’s moon and the bright star Antares on July 19-20.

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You can also wait another two years to see our closest neighbors greet each other again.

Read more stories about space here.

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