NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A close-encounter between Venus and Jupiter will create a spectacular show here on Earth on Monday night.
Jason Kendall is on the board of New York’s Amateur Astronomers Association. He said he is excited to see the two brightest planets in the solar system appear so closely together in the sky.
“It’s a wonderful thing that’s happening. Jupiter and Venus are approaching each other. They’re not close to together in the orbits around the sun; they’re very far apart. It’s just that they look like they’re close together in the sky because they’re in the same direction in the sky,” Kendall told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.
The phenomenon is called a conjunction. The last time Jupiter and Venus were close together in the night sky was 2008. Although conjunctions are not that rare, Kendall said the interest in this one is the result of how spectacular it’s supposed to be.
“A long time ago people thought conjunctions were really meaningful. They’re just quite beautiful is really what they are,” he said.
Currently, Jupiter is above Venus, but on Tuesday the two planets will switch positions and Venus will be on top.
Where should you look to find them? Kendall said it’s easy.
“When you look at sunset, all you’re doing is you’re looking in the West and you’ll see two very bright points of light in the West and the brightest is Venus and the second brightest one, that’s Jupiter,” he said.
Kendall’s friend and fellow member of the Amateur Astronomers Association is looking forward to viewing the conjunction as well.
“It’s amazing to see things so far away in motion,” Evan Schneider said
The planets will drift apart after a couple of days, but Jupiter will be visible for at least another two weeks.
The Amateur Astronomers Association will host a conjunction viewing Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Manhattan’s Inwood Hill Park near the baseball diamond.
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