A spectacular week awaits skywatchers and astronomy enthusiasts as two of Earth’s closest neighbors, Venus and Mars, approach each other in the coming days.
This astronomical occurrence is known as a “planetary conjunction” because it will be observable with the naked eye. A ‘planetary conjunction,’ which can only be seen from Earth, happens when two planets approach each other on a specific day despite remaining far apart.
The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) posted a message on social media informing people about the event and giving information. “Mars and Venus are traveling near to each other in the sky and will be barely 0.5 degrees (as wide as the Moon) apart on July 13,” according to a tweet from the official handle.
The moon will also be near Venus and Mars on July 12, according to the IIA. The institution has urged sky watchers to come out every evening beginning tonight, July 8, to observe the spectacle. After sunset, this spectacular sight will only be visible in the western sky or horizon if the sky is clear. Because the conjunction of these celestial objects is a significant event in the sky, astronomy enthusiasts can begin viewing the sky on Thursday (July 8) and continue until Tuesday (July 13).
People who continue to monitor it after the event will be able to witness the planets go. Any regular pair of binoculars will reveal Venus and Mars at their closest approach.
Meanwhile, the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune and the IIA in Bengaluru have asked photographers to submit photographs of the occasion.