In a rare event this week, sky gazers will be able to see three aligned planets in the Eastern skies at night amongst the stars. The planets Mars, Jupiter, and Venus will be visible in the skies with a pair of binoculars, but those with good eyesight can probably see the planets with the naked eye.
The trio of planets will be the brightest things in the sky, being that they’re the closest things to Earth and that they’re reflecting the Sun’s light right back at us.
The awesome sight has not been seen in the skies for two years, and experts say that it won’t happen again until January of 2021.
This morning, the three planets were the closest together that they will be all week long. Throughout the week, they will continue to drift apart, but they’ll be visible in the night skies until October 29th. Below, you can see a photograph snapped of the three planets in the skies taken by Instagram user yyaanneettaa:
The planets are best viewed in the morning, approximately an hour before the sun rises. At this time, the skies are still plenty dark enough to see the planets. When you get outside, you’ll want to look towards the East while the sky is clear, which is where you’ll have the best chance of seeing the planets converge together in a triangular group.
Although the planets appear close together from our planet, they’re actually incredibly far from one another; millions of miles. Jupiter and Mars come after the Earth in terms of relativity to the Sun, while Venus is actually before the Earth in terms of relativity to the Sun.
This won’t be the only interesting sight visible in the skies this month. On Halloween night, sky-gazers with telescopes will be able to watch a huge asteroid dubbed 2015 TB145 pass closely to the Earth approximately 1.3 Lunar distances away. A sight like this won’t be visible again until 2027.