Planets aligned: Twitter users share incredible photos of Jupiter & Venus conjunction
The planets appeared before dawn, with the best view said to have been from areas in the mid-northern latitudes where the two could be spotted with the naked eye. Stargazers with telescopes also reported seeing Jupiter’s four Galilean moons orbiting the solar system’s largest planet.
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. The two planets were at times just 16 arcminutes, or half the width of the full moon, apart in the sky – and amateur astronomers in the UK took to social media to post their views of the event.
Braved cold and windy conditions in the UK this morning to get images of the very close #Venus#Jupiter#Conjunction - second image shows the view in the eyepiece, Jupiter on the left @EpicCosmos@universetoday@BBCStargazing@skyandtelescopepic.twitter.com/crFOfif8fD— 🔭 fred de jager (@novafred) November 13, 2017
The phenomenon, known as a conjunction, happens when the two planets share the east-west longitude in the sky, according to Space.com. As all of the planets orbit the sun in the same plane, they travel in similar paths from Earth’s point of view.
Twitter users posted pictures of the pair of planets from over Lake Michigan near Milwaukee, and Newark, New York, in the US. The conjunction was also visible as far south as northeastern Morocco.
Venus and Jupiter in conjunction, less than 1/2 degree apart as seen over Lake Michigan from a viewpoint near Milwaukee early Monday morning. It's a line of sight illusion, the planets are actually hundreds of million miles apart. pic.twitter.com/riXyf0Lrmz— Ernie Mastroianni (@erniemas) November 13, 2017
Here are some pictures of Venus and Jupiter this morning. 1st one just after both appeared from behind clouds. 2nd one in clearer skies. Last one with 300mm lens. pic.twitter.com/vuOyLbxLRr— Brad Timerson (@btimerson) November 12, 2017