If you happen to wake-up early on one morning, you might be able to see that Venus and Jupiter are on a date this week-end. However, the couple will be joined by third-wheel Mars.
A beautiful show will be sprawled across the morning sky this week-end, through to Monday. Astronomy enthusiasts are invited to grab a telescope or a pair of binoculars and search the skies very early in the morning, as early as 6 or 6:30.
Three planets will be visible. Venus, the brightest, Jupiter next to it and Mars, a bit dimmer and lower than the other two.
Venus will be visible and it will appear so bright because it’s located so near the sun. Also, the fact that earth is always shrouded in clouds helps as well, because it makes Venus all the more bright and sunny. She’s glowing at magnitude -4.6. That means that’s she’s actually brighter than any other star in the night sky, because the higher the number on the magnitude scale, the dimmer the star will be. For example, her buddies Jupiter and Mars are a lot dimmer than she is. Mars has a magnitude of + 1.7. She is a lady after all, and deserves to shine.
Normally, when you see Venus in the East, she’s called the morning star, because she is so bright. But this week-end, given her romantic encounter with Jupiter, we will have the amazing opportunity to see two morning stars.
Mars will tag along and gloom and sulk near the two lovers. He is a lot dimmer than the two and he will glow red-orange with jealousy at the time, just below Jupiter. You can see the trio every morning and watch the changes as they revolve. If you happen to be in a spot with a very good and clear horizon, using binoculars, you will also be able to see Mercury, much further below the scene. After all, Mercury is the divine messenger. He will probably report news about the love triangle to the other gods.
As a tip for early risers, the closest Venus and Jupiter will get will be on Sunday and Monday morning, at a distance of just 1.1 degrees. But, luckily for us, the show does not end here, after this week-end. On November 6th, the crescent moon will strike a Vogue pose next to Jupiter, after which, as it leaves him dazzled, it will have a little chat with Venus, girl to girl, on the 7th. These are all events you will not want to miss, as the spectacle of the stars is always fascinating.
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