Venus and Mars are two planets that are on either side of Earth. But during the planetary conjunction, these two planets will align and appear close with each other and with the young Moon.
The last time Venus and Mars were seen moving into alignments like this was in 2019. Fortunately, this celestial treat will be easily visible. Here are some of the best ways to see it.
How to See Venus and Mars Conjunction
According to EarthSky, Venus and Mars' planetary conjunction began on July 12. But officially, the two planets became to appear to almost touch on July 13 at around 3 am ET. The pair came closest when Venus passed 1/2 degree north of Mars.
NASA said in a statement that Venus and Mars appeared to be only at a finger's width apart during the conjunction. Except that in reality, the two planets were millions of miles apart. Fox5 reported that the pair will appear close together on the night of July 13, which gives skywatchers another chance before sundown.
The planetary conjunction will coincide with the young Moon, putting all three celestial bodies in one field of view for stargazers to enjoy. The young Moon refers to the waxing crescent Moon, which occurs between a new Moon and the first quarter Moon. It is the time when only a silver of the lunar landscape is illuminated.
Catching a glimpse of this celestial treat is easy. Head out around 45 minutes to an hour before sunset and anyone can see the two planets close with each other even with their naked eyes.
Look toward the lowest part of the western sky that is close to the horizon, and underneath the crescent Moon, Business Insider reported. Binoculars or a telescope could also give viewers a better view of the planetary conjunction.
For those on the East Coast, they can see this before 10:07 pm local time. After that, the Red Planet will start settling below the horizon and then followed by Venus which will set about two hours after sunset.
Other Celestial Shows to Expect this July 2021
The month of July this year will still have other celestial shows that people should catch. Below is the schedule of the celestial shows to expect this month, according to NASA:
- July 16- The bright star Spica will appear about 7 degrees to the lower left of the waxing half Moon, which will appear in the southwest at 9:41 pm EDT.
- July 17- the Moon will appear half-full as it is in its first-quarter phase at 6:11 am EDT. Also, a near-Earth object, identified as 2019 NB7, will pass Earth at between 1.7 and 39.3 lunar distances, traveling at 30,800 miles per hour.
- July 18- The Sunday morning will be the last morning for when Mercury will appear above the horizon in the east-northeast at the time morning twilight starts.
- July 19-20- From Monday evening to Tuesday morning, the bright star Antares will be at about 8 degrees to the lower left of the waxing gibbous Moon. They are expected to show in the south at twilight and will end at 9:39 pm EDT, and will set on Tuesday morning at around 2:15 am EDT.
- July 21- The week of July 21 will see a near-Earth object identified as 2014 BP43, that will pass Earth at between 4.3 and 35.3 lunar distances that will travel at 18,900 miles per hour. Additionally, the Moon will be at its closes to the Earth, a phenomenon called perigee. Wednesday evening will also be the time when Venus and the bright star Regulus will appear near each other.
- July 23- The night of July 23 will witness a full moon at 10:37 pm EDT, which is known by its name as the Buck Moon because it is typically the time when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. The full Moon will stay for three days around this time.
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