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The planets arranged in a rare trio this weekend



Although these three planets can usually be seen from Earth, it is unusual for them to be so close together. Oliver said that the last time they approached each other was in 2000, mainly because of their different speeds around the sun.

She said: “There is still room for mercury to go…” “Because [Mercury and Jupiter] The orbital speed is slower and it takes longer to separate them from each other. In the next few days, they will not be in the same perspective together. “

Federica Spoto, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said Jupiter will be the brightest and will be visible at the top of the triangle, with Mercury and Saturn forming its bottom corners.

About 30 to 45 minutes after sunset, you can see the shape above the southwest horizon, but don̵

7;t be late. The trio will disappear about 15 or 20 minutes after being displayed.

The National Weather Service stated that there will be clear skies on Saturday and Sunday nights, which are ideal for viewing stars and planets. However, a few clouds on Monday night may obscure the planetary trio.

Spoto said: “As always, it is best to find a place in a dark place where the bright lights of the city will not affect visibility.” “Make sure your landscape does not cover the horizon.”

Anna Frebel, an astronomer and associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that you can use binoculars or zoom in with your phone camera to better observe the planets.

Frebel said: “Everything is moving slowly, and every once in a while, we will find that we have the opportunity to witness the gentle passing of our planetary neighbors.” “For those who are new to the night sky, this It’s a great opportunity… to see Jupiter’s many moons and Saturn’s wonderful rings.”

Spoto said Saturday will also be the last night that Jupiter and Saturn will be visible to the naked eye, even though Saturn may already need binoculars. In the next few days, the two planets will disappear from the night sky for several months.

The trio will not be as tight as the union between Jupiter and Saturn in December. Oliver said that in that event, the two planets were as long as a dime.

She said that this weekend, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn are about five degrees apart, that is, the distance between the ring finger, middle finger and index finger.

Oliver said: “It’s very different from watching it through pictures or live streaming with two eyes. There will be many photos or live broadcasts tomorrow night.” “It’s amazing to see this way.”

Spoto said that the last planetary trio will be in 2015, and one of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will appear on February 13. Thereafter, another trio will not appear until April 2026 when Mercury, Mars and Saturn will merge together.

“In ancient times, people looked at the sky because they thought it would affect their lives,” Spoto said. “We now know that this is not how it works, because the position of the planets will not affect our lives, but it will not make these events so beautiful.”

Caroline Enos’ phone address is caroline.enos@globe.com.Follow her on twitter @CarolineEnos.




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