Weekend treat – Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn on a rare triple conjunction

Winter solstice presented us a visual treat, with Jupiter and Saturn appearing as a double planet. Now we are in for a much more spectacular event. On Jan 9, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn will form a “triple conjunction” visible in the southwestern sky.

The term “triple conjunction” refers to the celestial phenomenon when two planets and a third planet meet in the sky for a short period.

During this weekend event, Mercury will appear to the left of Saturn and Jupiter above Saturn.

What’s Up: January 2021 Skywatching Tips from NASA. Credit: NASA JPL

According to NASA, “From Friday evening to Monday evening, Mercury will appear to pass first by Saturn and then by Jupiter as it shifts away from the horizon, visible each evening low in the west-southwest and setting before evening twilight ends.”

The best place to watch will be at the southern latitudes, where the sky will darken faster, and the three planets will fit within the field of view of binoculars.

There is a second chance if you happen to miss this weekend; the planets will form the triple conjunction again on Feb 13.

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Source: Fox 8

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