If you look into the night sky tonight, you’ll see 3 planets which will easily let you find some famous constellations. Jupiter, Venus and Saturn are all on display tonight – with Jupiter and Venus (the second and third brightest objects in the night sky) almost sitting on top of each other! This is known as a “conjunction” where objects appear to be in the same part of the sky at the same time.
They aren’t actually anywhere near each other though. The average distance between Venus and Jupiter is 4.48 AU (astronomical units) – which is roughly 670 million KM, or 416 million miles – so although they look as though they are together in the sky just now… they are very far from each other.
Tomorrow on 30th June, these dazzling planets will appear as close to each other as they will until next August 2016. A great opportunity for some fantastic photos.
If your night sky is clear enough, and there’s not a lot of light pollution, you may be able to make out the stars that make up the constellation of Leo the Lion.
The Moon and Saturn
Another spectacular spectacle in the southern sky, is the Moon with Saturn in the constellation of Scorpius.
Use them to find the beating heart of the scorpion, a star called Antares, in the Scorpius constellation. Antares sits almost directly opposite Aldebaran in our celestial sphere, so watch out for Aldebaran rise in the east as Antares sets in the west, at around 3:30 am – you’ll only have around an hour to catch Aldebaran before the Sun rises and it disappears into the Sun’s glare.
Have you been able to spot any of the constellations?