Rare Triple Planetary Conjunction: It’s Not Too Late to See!

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Awesome triple planetary conjunction. Photo: Jenny Williams
Awesome triple planetary conjunction. Photo: Jenny Williams

Last night, Rory and I popped outside, just after sunset, to see an amazing planetary conjunction in the western sky. It’s often enough that we see Venus near the Moon, or maybe a couple of planets vaguely close to one another in the night sky. But last night Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter got very cozy.

A very small triangle was formed by these three planets. It was beautiful in our very clear sky here in northern Arizona. My phone was no help taking photos; however, my DSLR was much better at it, even without a tripod.

A close-up. Photo: Jenny Williams
A close-up. Photo: Jenny Williams

For those who can’t identify planets in the sky by sight, Venus is the lowest one, with Mercury on the right and Jupiter on the left. It was so gorgeous that I wanted to get out my telescope, but by the time I could have done so, the trio would have set. So we just stayed there, enjoying the view together.

While last night seemed to have the three planets closest to one another for this conjunction, it’s not too late to see them. Tonight and tomorrow night will also show the conjunction, with Mercury moving slightly farther away.

Still, get outside just after sunset, look west, and enjoy the gorgeous view. While planetary conjunctions between two planets are fairly common, those involving three are much more rare. I was so excited to get to witness this. How awesome is the universe?

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1 thought on “Rare Triple Planetary Conjunction: It’s Not Too Late to See!

  1. Awesome pictures! I wish I could have seen that alignment. I did get to see the alignment made Friday night (5/24/13).

    In my 52 1/2 years on this Earth, I have never seen Mercury in person. It was a real treat to see it with the naked eye and in my 8″ Celestron that night.

    So, you took those pictures without a tripod? Really? I really need to get me one of them fancy DSLR’s! It’s on my “bucket list” to get one, but I have to hold off for a while while I look for a job.

    At least I can enjoy viewing the sky with my telescope and my eyes.

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