Close Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter on June 30, 2015

Venus, Jupiter, and the crescent Moon in the western sky after sunset on June 19, 2015. The two bright planets will come within 0.3 degrees of each other on June 30, 2015.

Venus, Jupiter, and the crescent Moon in the western sky after sunset on June 19, 2015. The two bright planets will come within 0.3 degrees of each other on June 30, 2015.

The bright planets Venus and Jupiter have been moving closer together for weeks, and on June 30, 2015, they make their closest approach when they pass less than a full-Moon-width from each other in the western sky after sunset. This beautiful conjunction of two bright planets is an ideal time for a photo-op and an great opportunity to see the clockwork motion of the solar system in action.

The two planets will fit together in the same low-power field of view in a telescope, and remarkably, they will appear the same size. Venus is a tiny crescent, bright and featureless, while Jupiter displays cloud bands and its four biggest moons. While each spans about 32 arc-seconds in apparent size, in real terms Jupiter is 12x larger and 12x farther away. If the skies are in your favor, wander out and see this remarkable conjunction in the western sky after sunset on June 30 and July 1. It’s visible from the northern and southern hemispheres.

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