Stargazers’ stunner: Thousands catch Jupiter, Venus forming super bright ‘Star of Bethlehem’ (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
The two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, have appeared close to each other in the sky, attracting thousands of amazed onlookers to the unique sight.
During Tuesday night, they were “less than a diameter of the full moon apart,” NASA stated in a press release.
#Venus#Jupiter Conjunction over the Leaning Tower of Pisa! @newburyastro@NuovoOrione@SkyandTelescope@Coelum_newspic.twitter.com/SyH6jEmyq0— Giuseppe Petricca (@gmrpetricca) July 1, 2015
“You'll be able to hide the pair not just behind the palm of your outstretched hand, but behind your little pinky finger,” the statement added.
Don't miss TONIGHT's #Venus & #Jupiter planetary conjunction. Get ready with our latest video: http://t.co/5dyvArnB4Ppic.twitter.com/3wrupDR6qQ— NASA Marshall News (@NASA_Marshall) June 30, 2015
The event is called a conjunction - two celestial bodies have either the same right ascension or the same ecliptic longitude.
Just back from beautiful night at Hoopers Inlet. Here’s Jupiter & Venus with Harbour Cone #conjunction#Dunedinpic.twitter.com/BUaMrx6f85— Ian Griffin (@iangriffin) July 1, 2015
Some stargazers say the figure that the two stars form is similar to the biblical ‘Star of Bethlehem’ - according to Christian tradition, it showed the birth of Jesus to the Magi, and later led them to Bethlehem.
The next such event won’t happen until 2023, Rice University astronomer Patrick Hartigan wrote on his website.
Quick wide field of #Jupiter & Venus over Canobie Lake NH. @JimCantore@FOX25Shiri@sarahwroblewskipic.twitter.com/8uB5NKnA8c— DanSpace77 (@DanSpace77) July 1, 2015