Today on March 20 Google Doodle celebrates Spring Equinox 2019, a celestial event that marks as the beginning of spring in many cultures. Spring Equinox…
A conjunction occurs when two astronomical objects have either the same right ascension or the same ecliptical longitude, normally when observed from the Earth. In the case of two objects that always appear close to the ecliptic – such as two planets, or the Moon and a planet, or the Sun and a planet – this implies an apparent close approach between the objects as seen on the sky. In contrast, the term appulse is defined as the minimum apparent separation on the sky of two astronomical bodies.
Conjunctions therefore involve two Solar System bodies, or one Solar System body and one more distant object such as a star. A conjunction is an apparent phenomenon caused by perspective only: there is no close physical approach in space between the two objects involved. Conjunctions between two bright objects close to the ecliptic, such as two bright planets, can be easily seen with the naked eye and can attract some public interest.
- February 18 – Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter. The Moon will pass less than one degree from the giant planet Jupiter in the evening sky. The first quarter moon will be at magnitude -11.9 and Jupiter will be at magnitude -2.4.
- March 17 – Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter. The Moon will pass about one and a half degrees of the giant planet Jupiter in the evening sky. The first quarter moon will be at magnitude -11.4 and Jupiter will be at magnitude -2.2.
- April 14 – Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter. The Moon will pass about two degrees of the giant planet Jupiter in the evening sky. The crescent moon will be at magnitude -10.6 and Jupiter will be at magnitude -2.1.
- May 28 – Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter. Conjunctions are rare events where two or more objects will appear extremely close together in the night sky. The two bright planets will be within 1 degree of each other in the evening sky. The planet Mercury will also will also be visible nearby.
- September 8 – Conjunction of the Moon and Venus. The Moon will pass within about a half of a degree from the the planet Venus in the early evening sky. The moon will be at magnitude -10.4 and Venus will be at magnitude -4.5.
- September 8 – Conjunction of the Venus and Saturn. The two planets 3 degrees of each other in the early evening sky. Venus will be at magnitude -4.6 and Saturn will be at magnitude -1.1.
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