(NEXSTAR) – If you started watching Jupiter and Saturn in comfortable weather last month in what some call itChristmas star“You might want to look out this weekend, just after sunset.
From January 9 to 12, Mercury will join Jupiter and Saturn in the southwestern sky.
The celestial event is known as a “triple conjunction,” which means that three planets appear to meet in the sky for a short period of time. In fact, they are millions of miles apart. Planetary triangle formation is rare, but not as rare as the close, great pairing we saw last week, according to the Weather Channel.
Shortly after sunset on January 9, look over the southwest horizon and you’ll see Mercury to the left of Saturn and Jupiter at a position just above Saturn. The window to see the coupling will be short.
“From Friday evening to Monday evening, Mercury will appear to pass first Saturn and then Jupiter as it moves away from the horizon, and every evening it will be visible low in the west and southwest and set before evening twilight ends,” NASA He wrote on his website.
The southwestern sky is where the sun sets at this time of year, so following the sunset path will direct you in the right direction. The light reflected from the planets should appear brighter than the surrounding stars.
to me Space.com, All three planets will fit into the binoculars’ field of view. “Mercury and Saturn will be a challenge to see twilights in the evening – except for sky watchers in southern latitudes, where the sky will darken faster.”
Spectators should find an unobstructed view of the horizon and begin gazing at the stars no later than 45 minutes after sunset.
The planets will form a triple bond again on February 13, according to NASA.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed Mars in place of Mercury in the main title.