Stargazers were treated to a rare occurrence early Monday morning as the planets Venus and Jupiter appeared close together in the night sky.
Viewed from Earth, the “conjunction” placed the planets remarkably close together in relation to the rest of the sky. They will begin to appear farther apart each day.
Although the occurrence can be seen with the naked eye, NASA recommends binoculars, writing on their website:
A quick scan of the sky around Venus and Jupiter reveals that the two worlds are not alone. The planets have converged right beside M44, the Beehive Cluster. Located about 500 light years from Earth, this busy cluster of stars is barely visible to the naked eye, but it is an easy target for ordinary binoculars. At first glance it might seem that a pair of supernovas has gone off inside the cluster—but that’s just Venus and Jupiter passing by.
On August 23 the moon will join the two planets, according to NASA, to form a “wide but beautiful triangle approximately 7 [degrees] on each side.”
Last week New Yorkers were also treated to a ‘supermoon’ that hovered over the city’s skyline, appearing wider and brighter than usualy because of how close its path was to the earth.