You’ll Be Able To See Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury This Weekend
On Jan. 10, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury will all be visible in the night sky in a triangular formation. This alignment is called a “triple conjunction,” according to Good News Network, and it will be visible for most of us will just a good set of binoculars.
A “conjunction” of planets is when two or planets align in the night sky from Earth’s perspective, and because all the planets in our solar system orbit the Sun at different rates, a conjunction can be quite a rare occurrence—especially a triple conjunction.
The best time to view the triple conjunction is about 30 to 45 minutes after sunset on Jan. 10, however, the planets should be visible after sunset on Jan. 9 and Jan. 11 as well. Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury will be in their triangular layout low in the southwest sky, so head somewhere with an unobstructed view of the horizon line.
Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye, but both Saturn and Mercury will be on the dimmer side. Once you locate Jupiter, though, you will most likely be able to spot Saturn and Mercury through binoculars.
After Jan. 11, according to Travel & Leisure, Saturn and Jupiter will both go behind the Sun, thus being obstructed from view by the Sun’s glare. They’ll then continue their orbit, and by Jan. 28, both will be visible in the morning sky just before and/or after sunrise depending on your location.
Though a triple conjunction is seen as a rare occurrence in the world of astronomy, we’re actually going to luck out this year. Come Feb. 13, Mercury will follow Jupiter and Saturn into the morning sky, forming yet another triple conjunction at dawn, though this one may be more difficult to see due to the lighting situation.