Sky gazers to ENJOY planetary spectacle; Know when and how to watch Venus, Jupiter | Tech

Sky gazers to ENJOY planetary spectacle; Know when and how to watch Venus, Jupiter

February is going to be a delightful month for sky gazers as Venus and Jupiter in particular will shine brightly, next to each other. Find out when and how to watch them and other planets of the solar system in the sky.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Feb 02 2023, 15:01 IST
Earth to witness a RARE PHENOMENON! Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn forming a straight line NOW
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1/6 According to Subhendu Pattnaik, Deputy Director, Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Bhubaneswar, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will align in a straight line in the eastern sky for around one hour before the sunrise during this rare phenomenon. (Pixabay)
Solar system
2/6 Speaking to ANI, Subhendu Pattnaik said, "During the last week of April 2022, a rare and unique planet alignment will occur, which is popularly known as 'planet parade'' Although there is no scientific definition for 'planet parade', it is being widely used in astronomy to denote an event that takes place when planets of the solar system line up in a row in the same area of the sky." (Pixabay)
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3/6 He explained about three planet parades. The first occurs when planets line up on one side of the Sun as seen up above the plane of our solar system. This is the most common among all of them and can happen multiple times in a year. (Pixabay)
Solar system
4/6 Pattnaik said, "Secondly, when some planets appear in a small sector of the sky at the same time regardless of their visibility conditions, from Earth's point of view we term the event also as a planet parade. A planet parade of this type last happened on April 18, 2002 and July 2020 when all planets of the Solar system that are visible to the naked eye lined up in a row in the evening sky.” (Pixabay)
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5/6 The third type of planet parade is on rare occasions where there are favourable conditions for observation of all or some of the planets. "During the last week of April 2022, a rare and unique planet parade will take place when Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will line up in the eastern sky around one hour before sunrise. This will be a planet parade of the third kind as described above. The last such parade of these planets occurred in 947 AD around 1,000 years ago," Pattnaik said. (AFP)
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6/6 He further explained to ANI that, "One hour before sunrise on April 26 and 27, the moon along with four planets will be visible within 30 degrees from the eastern horizon in a near-perfect straight line. If the conditions are right, one can see Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn in a line without the need for binoculars or telescopes. On April 30, the brightest planets - Venus and Jupiter - can be seen very close together. Venus will be 0.2 degrees south of Jupiter.” (NASA)
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Know when and how to watch Venus, Jupiter and other planets shining brightly in the sky. (Pixabay)

The month of February is going to be an exciting one for all astronomy enthusiasts. This month a bunch of planets in the solar system can be seen shining brightly in the night sky. However, among them, Venus and Jupiter will be the brightest. Both the planets are traversing our night sky to come close to each other and by the end of the month, they would be separated by just twice the apparent width of the Moon. But they are not the only highlight for the month. A waxing crescent Moon, a fading Saturn as well as Mars and Mercury will also be seen throughout the month. But you need to know where to look for them and the best time to watch them. So, sky gazers, pay attention!

The planetary spectacle in February

According to the information shared by Space.com, we have given you both the schedule as well as the area in the sky to scan in order to watch these planets at their brightest. Do note, if you are new to sky gazing, you'd be benefited by a star gazing app such as StarTracker. Also, make sure to find an area with a clear sky and low light pollution to really be able to enjoy the spectacle.

Mercury: Interestingly, Mercury is getting brighter and going lower in the sky this month. So, while you will get to see the planet in all its glory, you will be restricted to a specific time in order to observe it. Half an hour before sunrise, you can see Mercury about 8 degrees above the horizon. Do note, after the second week of February, you might not be able to see it without binoculars.

Venus: Venus is going to gain altitude quite rapidly this month at sunset and will be closing the gap between it and Jupiter. The best view comes on February 27, when the separation between the two planets will be just 2.3 degrees. You can look for Venus on the left side of the Moon.

Crescent Moon: A waxing crescent Moon will join Jupiter and Venus on February 21 and 22 to offer a majestic sight that you should not be missing out on.

Mars: The red planet is waning. This month, it will lose half of its brightness as the distance between the planet and Earth increases. While you can still see the red planet in the sky all throughout the month, the best view will come on February 27, when it will be placed just 2 degrees away from the waxing gibbous Moon.

Jupiter: Jupiter will also gain brightness. You can find it around 40 degrees north latitude, or in the southwest sky after dusk. This will be the last month until July when the gas giant will be high enough for proper telescopic observations.

Saturn: The first week of February will be the best time to see Saturn as it will lose its brightness afterwards. It will reach conjunction with the Sun on February 1, after which it will be next to impossible to see it.

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First Published Date: 02 Feb, 14:57 IST
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