Venus and Jupiter seem to touch, but the distance between them is 700 million km

Venus and Jupiter seem to touch, but the distance between them is 700 million km

Do you see two bright stars above the western horizon? These are not stars, but planets: Venus and Jupiter. Tonight and tomorrow, the two planets appear to be touching.

Amateur and enthusiast astronomers are treated to a lot of beauty this week. That was early this week northern lights It is easy to see in large parts of the Netherlands. Today and tomorrow you can enjoy another beautiful conjunction between the largest planet in the solar system and sister Earth.

You don’t need a telescope or binoculars to observe the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus. Look toward the northwest between 7 and 8 p.m., and you’ll see the two planets close together. Stretch out your arm and you will notice that your little finger just fits on the two planets. The bright planet is Venus. This is the ball on the right. This may sound strange – Jupiter is much larger than Venus – but that is because Venus is much closer to Earth. Hence, this planet appears to be larger.

The least bright sphere is Jupiter. This is especially noticeable when looking through a telescope. Then Jupiter’s cloud bands, the Great Red Spot, and up to four moons can be seen. Visit your local observatory tomorrow or Friday night if you want to see Jupiter through the lens of a telescope.

From today, the duo will separate and we will have to wait years for the planets to appear to come together again. At least, from the surface of the earth. In fact, the distance between Venus and Jupiter is currently 700 million km.

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Without Jupiter, Venus might have been livable today
Scientists believe that Venus had a stable climate. “I am convinced that Venus was once habitable,” researcher Stephen Kane told Scientias.nl. However, Jupiter threw a wrench into the works. The gas planet pushed Venus, sending the planet into a new orbit. As a result, more and more surface water has disappeared, leaving a barren, sneezing world.

Why are Jupiter and Venus close?
As you know, all planets revolve around the sun. One planet is slightly faster than the other. For example, it takes our planet 365 days to complete a rotation, while Venus needs 243 Earth days. And the buyer? A year on this gas planet lasts no less than 4,332 Earth days. As a result, the planets will never be in the same position relative to each other, which creates special situations, such as today and tomorrow.

Viewed from Earth, the planets Venus and Jupiter seem to merge. This is because Earth, Venus and Jupiter are roughly aligned. This can be clearly seen in the image below.

Did you already take a picture?
Many pictures of the beautiful collaboration are now being shared on Twitter, Instagram and other social media. It is clear all over the Netherlands. And the great thing is that you don’t need expensive equipment to become a star photographer. Point your smartphone up and take a snapshot.

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