Jupiter and Venus sky show peaks Wednesday 1 July 2015

June 20, 2015 | By | 6 Comments
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(Posted 20 June 2015) If you thought last night’s encounter between Venus, Jupiter and the slim crescent Moon was impressive, keep watching! Thanks to the mechanics of all three planets moving around the Sun (the Earth being the third), Venus and Jupiter are appearing to be moving even closer together. The two planets will appear to be at their closest in our evening twilight sky on Wednesday 1 July 2015 when they will only be 0.2 degrees apart (or two thirds of a Moon width). This event is referred to as a planetary conjunction by astronomers and will be dazzling to the unaided eye.

Moon, Venus and Jupiter finder chart. Chart prepared for 6:30 pm AEST on Saturday 20 June 2015 for the Gold Coast, Queensland (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Moon, Venus and Jupiter finder chart. Chart prepared for 6:30 pm AEST on Saturday 20 June 2015 for the Gold Coast, Queensland (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

On Saturday 20 June 2015, the Moon, Venus and Jupiter will make a temporary triangle in the evening twilight sky.

Moon, Venus and Jupiter finder chart. Chart prepared for 6:30 pm AEST on Friday 19 June 2015 for the Gold Coast, Queensland (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Moon, Venus and Jupiter finder chart. Chart prepared for 6:30 pm AEST on Sunday 21 June 2015 for the Gold Coast, Queensland (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

On Sunday, the Moon will have moved above Jupiter and Venus.

Venus, Jupiter and Regulus finder chart. Chart prepared for 6:30 pm AEST on Wednesday 1 July 2015 for the Gold Coast, Queensland (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Venus, Jupiter and Regulus finder chart. Chart prepared for 6:30 pm AEST on Wednesday 1 July 2015 for the Gold Coast, Queensland (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

The highlight of this sky show will occur when Venus and Jupiter will be only 0.2 degrees apart on Wednesday 1 July 2015. After that day, the two planets will rapidly move apart.

Venus, Jupiter and Regulus finder chart. Chart prepared for 6:30 pm AEST on Wednesday 1 July 2015 for the Gold Coast, Queensland (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Venus, and Jupiter finder chart. Chart prepared for 6:30 pm AEST on Wednesday 1 July 2015 for the Gold Coast, Queensland (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

If you happen to own a telescope, don’t forget to point it at Venus and Jupiter on that Wednesday evening. If you have a suitable wide field eyepiece, you will be rewarded with a view of both planets in the field of view.

A final comment. If you are wondering why both planets only appear as stars to the unaided eye, the answer is distance. Both planets are located far from the Earth and thus appear star like. A small telescope will easily show both planets as they really are.

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About the Author (Author Profile)

This website is maintained by Paul Floyd. I am an amateur astronomer (and school teacher) with 25 years experience (as at 2015) in running a range of education and public astronomy outreach activities. As of January 2015, I have been providing astronomy information via the WWW for eighteen years.