In late June and early July, if the night skies are clear we will be treated to a view of Venus and Jupiter “dancing” in the sky towards conjunction, and the best thing is, it should be pretty easy to spot with the naked eye. Venus is the third brightest, and Jupiter the fourth brightest celestial body in the sky after the Sun and the Moon.
A conjunction is when two astronomical objects appear close together in the sky. The apparent closeness is because they have the same right ascension or celestial longitude. However, objects involved in a conjunction are not closer at all. In fact, a conjunction is their apparent close position as viewed from Earth.
Our Solar System is like a table top with marbles rolling around the Sun, so the planets are always aligned across the sky as they orbit the Sun. Conjunctions are therefore not rare, and provide great opportunities for creative night-time or twilight photography when they occur near sunset or sunrise.
You can find out more about the Venus – Jupiter conjunction in this clip from NASA here.