Saturn, Mercury and Jupiter to form three-planet conjunction

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

10th Jan, 2021. 04:04 pm
Saturn

Rare three-planet conjunction of Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn will illuminate in the sky this evening.

The three bodies will form a “small, neat triangle” low in the west-southwest sky, appearing about 30 to 45 minutes after sunset that evening. Jupiter will appear at the top of the triangle, glowing about two-and-a-half times brighter than Mercury, and 10 times brighter than Saturn.

Media reports said that Mercury will be the lowest of the three in the sky, Jupiter will be the brightest and Saturn will be the dimmest.

Reports said that the planets will continue to congregate while shifting around over the next several nights.

When the conjunction began a few weeks ago, the planet Jupiter was about 550 million miles (890 million kilometers) from Earth, or about 5.9 times the distance between Earth and the sun, whereas Saturn was about 1 billion miles (1.6 billion km) from Earth or about 10.8 times Earth’s distance from the sun.

Meanwhile, Mercury remains millions of miles closer, at about 120 million miles (195 million km) from Earth.

The previous month, unique conjunction of two planets Jupiter and Saturn was seen in the sky.

Both the planets aligned in such a way that they were only 0.1 degrees apart. This was a rare and unique event that will occur again foreseeably in 2080.

The incredible conjunction was seen all over the world, including Pakistan. Previously they were seen together so close to each other on July 16, 1623. At that time i.e. 397 years ago, they were at a distance of 5 arc minutes.

Before that, the two planets Jupiter and Saturn were seen this close together in medieval times, in 1226.

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