See Venus and Jupiter get close at dawn on 13 November

Conjunctions occur when two planets share the same ascension, so with Jupiter rising two minutes after Venus, it appeared that they rose as a pair.

Venus appeared much larger and brighter than its giant counterpart as it lies just 162 million miles (260 million km) away from the Earth compared to Jupiter's 360 million miles. Venus and Jupiter will come within a mere 17 arcminutes of each other, and remain close for a day before and after the conjunction itself. At that time, the planets will be less than 0.3 degrees apart - or the diameter of a full moon - according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The North Taurid Meteor Shower peaks this weekend and you have a good chance of spotting Venus and Jupiter too!

The planets will be seen best by those in mid-northern latitudes around the world, including the United Kingdom and northern US. 2nd one in clearer skies.

They will be further apart than this morning, with Jupiter starting to drift out of sync.

Conjunctions between Venus and Jupiter is one of the rarest event in the astronomical world which takes place at a mean interval of 13 months. I make no apologies for offering the usual warning not to casually sweep the horizon with telescopes or binoculars near sunrise lest you accidentally view the Sun with disastrous consequences for your eyesight.

The planets won't be as close together as tomorrow morning, but just before 6am they will still appear more wondrously intertwined than usual. But here too the maximum altitude is about 11 degrees, which requires a relatively unobstructed eastern view.

Vanessa Coleman

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