Planetary conjunction: Mars and Venus to be closest next week, with moon in tow

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July 09, 2021 4:19 PM

The conjunction will also include the moon drawing close, within 4 degrees of the two planets, on July 12 and create a triple conjunction.

Mars, VenusPlanetary conjunction takes place when two planets appear to have come closer, while in reality they remain far away. (Picture courtesy: IE via Indian Institute of Astrophysics)

Earth’s two immediate neighbours Mars and Venus will come closest to each other next week. The celestial event is called planetary conjunction. The event will be easily visible with the naked eye. Planetary conjunction takes place when two planets appear to have come closer, while in reality they remain far away.

The latest event will take place on July 13 when Venus and Mars will come within just 0.5 degrees of each other. The phenomenon will be visible the horizon under a clear sky soon after sunset or in the western sky. The conjunction will also include the moon drawing close, within 4 degrees of the two planets, on July 12 and create a triple conjunction.

While the two planets on either side of the Earth’s orbit will appear to be closest on July 13, the event has already begun with the two being almost, coupled with crescent moon. Observations from July 13 will also reveal the two planets moving away from each other. This will also mark the first of three planetary conjunctions between Venus and Mars with just eight months. Similar sights are likely on February 12 and March 12 next year.

The Pune-based Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bengaluru have invited photographs of the event. The institutes will choose the best of those among all entrants and then publish them.

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