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How to see the triple connection between Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury



Recently, Jupiter and Saturn are like Tom Hanks in the mid-90s. They really attract the spotlight. (Although they cannot claim to be the father of America.) This will continue on the night of January 10.

Just after sunset on Sunday, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury there will be a rare triple bond that comes together from our point of view. The trio will form a small, clear triangle low in the southwestern sky with Jupiter sitting at the top of their planetary pyramid. The planets will actually be close to each other every night from January 8 to January 11, but the closest group will happen next January 10, on EarthSky. However, you need to look immediately, because they will not stay long above the horizon.

You will be able to see the trio during a short window starting about 30 minutes after sunset, which seems to be coming too early, even as the days get longer after the great connection of December with the winter solstice. Jupiter will be the brightest of these three and the first to appear when the sun̵

7;s dominion over the sky weakens. It will shine about two and a half times brighter than Mercury and 10 times brighter than Saturn, according to Live Science.

You will want to see the event somewhere with a clear view on the west-southwest horizon, because it will take place very low in the sky. If there are trees or buildings on your horizon, you may not see the planets. In addition, Joe Rao of Space.com suggests using binoculars to spot the planets, because the brightness of the sun will make them harder to see than if it happens in the dead of night. (Mercury is only visible near sunrise or sunset due to its positioning between the Earth and the sun.)

If you wear binoculars, be careful not to look at the sun while it is still rising. You should not look at the sun through binoculars unless you are using a solar filter. This can damage your eyes.

Of course, the planets will look close to each other only from our point of view. They are very, very distant in reality. Gas giants have orbits that sometimes bring them closer than other planets, but Mercury, the closest planet to the sun, never comes close to Jupiter and Saturn.

In addition, this triple connection will be one of the last opportunities to see Jupiter and Saturn for a while. The planets float to completely eclipsed by the sunset. Jupiter will remain visible until the middle of the month, for Space.com. This is a good chance to have one last cheer with these wild gas giants.


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