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If you explore this website, you’ll notice that conjunctions are mentioned a lot – for a good reason! These are times when certain objects appear close to one another from Earth, giving a reason to go outside and look up!

A conjunction in astronomy is when two, sometimes three or more, appear very close together in the sky from Earth. These are impressive sights in the sky, and it helps people understand that all the Solar System objects are constantly in motion.

The Sun, Moon, and planets all move along a path in the sky known as the ecliptic, a plane in the sky that the Sun follows against the background of stars. Since all the planets orbit around the Sun in roughly the same plane as well, conjunctions between two objects can happen semi-frequently.

When a planet is in conjunction with the Sun, it’s lost in the Sun’s glare for a brief period of time before it reemerges again in the night sky. When a New Moon is in perfect conjunction, a solar eclipse occurs.

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Crescent Moon and Venus shot from my telescope. 

 

Sometimes, our Moon is often seen in conjunctions with the planets, and it’s often a night when people call me and ask “what is that bright star/planet near the Moon?” or I’ll see plenty of social media posts like “hey, look up, the Moon is really close to {that planet}!”

When two objects appear in conjunction, most of the time they are relatively close compared to the rest of the sky, but you still see a wide gap between them. Still, it’s fun to realize that one object is much closer while the other is millions of miles further away!

Other nights, sometimes you’ll see three or more objects in the same neck of the woods! They’ll either form a tight line, or make shapes like triangles!

Whenever I promote a conjunction between two objects, it’s because they will appear close enough to see BOTH objects through a telescope! To the naked eye, these objects appear so close together that they almost look like a double planet, or it’s like the Moon is photo bombing our view of the planet in question.

Even more rare is when two planets are so close together that they can be viewed both at the same time at high magnification. The next time this will happen will be on December 21, 2020 when Jupiter and Saturn form what is called a Great Conjunction!

And then of course, there are times when the Moon appears to eclipse another planet! If you are in the right location at the right time, and if the Moon is directly in line to cross a particular planet, you can watch the Moon obstruct the planet, and then in less than an hour see the planet reemerge on the other end! These events are called occultations!

Conjunctions will be frequently listed in upcoming celestial events by their year on this website.

Click Here to Find the 2019 Conjunctions Worth Checking Out! 

Click Here to Find the 2020 Conjunctions Worth Checking Out! 

Click Here to Find the 2021 Conjunctions Worth Checking Out

Help grow Orion Bear Astronomy

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