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Jupiter and Venus Closest Conjunction of 2015

From time to time, some of the planets in our solar system are in conjunction and become visible together in the sky. Venus, Jupiter, and Mars have been shining brightly in the early morning October sky of 2015.

Illustration image

Jupiter, Venus and Mars in this formation are together called planetary trio.

Predawn Planetary Trio

On October 26, Venus is in its closest conjunction with Jupiter this year, and Mars is also visible to the naked eye.

Clear Skies and a Pair of Eyes

On the morning of October 27, 2015, Jupiter, Venus and Mars will still be very close, and all three planets will be visible close together just before dawn until the beginning of November 2015. A few of you will also be able to glimpse Mercury above the horizon just as dawn breaks.

Visibility is weather depending, so check your cloud cover! If you have clear skies, all you need is a pair of eyes to see the bright dots in the early morning sky. Jupiter is the second-brightest planet, and Mars is around 25 times fainter. So, if you want to see the red planet shine, you might have to set your alarm for a little over an hour before sunrise.

Sunrise Depends on DST

In the US, DST is still in effect, so sunrise is not too early in the areas that use Daylight Saving Time.

However, in Europe, DST ended on Sunday, October 25, so sunrise this particular week is an hour earlier than last week.

Jupiter, Venus and Mars are now in the middle of a formation called a planetary trio. Since approximately October 24, the three planets have been within a 5-degree circle on the sky, and they will stay this close until around October 29.

The last time a planetary trio was visible was in 2013. The next one is in January 2021, when Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, and Mercury can be seen close together in the evening sky from certain locations.

Topics: Astronomy, Planets