A winter where the planets come together

conjunction of planets

This winter, we will be entitled to conjunctions of planets. This means that two planets will appear close to each other, even though in reality they are still hundreds of millions of miles apart.

“This is explained by the fact that the planets will orbit around the Sun at different speeds, underlines Loïc Quesnel, coordinator of scientific activities at the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan. The closer a planet is to the Sun, the faster it will orbit. It will be distinguished a lot for Mercury and Venus, which are planets relatively close to the Sun. »

Approach between Venus and Saturn on January 22

Mr. Quesnel adds that from night to night, we will notice a change in the position of the planets. Venus will become easy to identify in the evening sky as winter progresses. From the middle of January, it will rise higher and higher from night to night in the western horizon, after sunset.

“After sunset, it will gradually venture east to approach the position of Saturn, which it will appear to cross on January 22,” he says. This conjunction will be enough stunning. We will have the impression that the two planets are almost confused with the naked eye. »

Approach between Venus and Jupiter on March 1

Then, on March 1, it will be the turn of Jupiter’s luminosity to rival that of Venus. The two planets will cross in the sky on this date.

A good season to observe Mars

Throughout the season, Mars can be observed very high in the sky. The red planet will be very close to the Winter Hexagon, formed by Orion, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Gemini, Coachman and Taurus.

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“At the start of the season, it will be on the edge of the winter Hexagon, and the more we progress in the winter, the more it will go inside the Hexagon”, underlines Mr. Quesnel.

At the end of winter, Mars will be almost at the center of France.

SEE ALSO: The Sun is going through a period of hyperactivity

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