Saudi Arabia & Arab world witness a rare astronomical phenomenon
The sky of Saudi Arabia and the Arab world witnessed on Sunday exceptional conjunction between Venus and Jupiter, as they will be at their closest apparent distance and separated by a small fraction of a degree (0.2) on the southeastern horizon, as they were the last time this happened in August 2016.
Eng. Majed Abu Zahira, the head of the Astronomical Society in Jeddah, explained to Alarabia.net that the conjunction happens when planets appear close to one other in the sky from Earth’s perspective.
During pairing, the distance between objects is normally between 0.5 and 9 degrees. When the planets come close together, like they did when Jupiter and Saturn met in the year 2020, it’s called a conjunction.
The conjunction of Venus and Jupiter happens just once a year, but this year the two planets will appear far closer than usual. The spectator can see the two planets touching each other.
They appear to combine into one incredibly bright glow due to the illumination originating from them.
Abu Zahira also added that the merging of Venus and Jupiter is only apparent because Venus’ orbit is closer to the sun than the Earth’s orbit, and Jupiter’s orbit is much farther away, as it will be separated by more than 600 million kilometers, so the approach between them is not real. It occurs because the Earth, Venus, and Jupiter are almost aligned in space and on the same side of the Solar System.
He noted that Venus will be the brightest of the two planets, with a luminosity of (-4.1) compared to Jupiter’s (2.1), implying that it will be nearly six times brighter and have a luminous pinch of 67 percent. Through binoculars or a small telescope, Jupiter will appear larger than Venus.
He also stated that it is possible to see the two planets virtually touching in the sky if the sky is clear, the conjunction may be observed from everywhere on the globe, and that the two planets will not appear so close again until March 2023.
The apparent distance between Jupiter and Venus will increase following the day of conjunction, and they will progressively move apart from each other.