Planet Convergence


Happening right now, and continuing for a couple of days, is a convergence of three planets in the sky, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. Appearing low in the sky, close to the horizon in the north-west evening sky, the three plants will appear very close to one another. It’s known as a triple conjunction which is a pretty rare sight and won’t happen again until October 2015, but they won’t be this close again until 2026. The planets will appear closest together tomorrow (26th May) and due to Venus and Jupiter being the brightest planets in our solar system, should be visible to the naked eye from Northern America and Europe in the early evening just after sunset. Providing that you can see the three planets, if you add in the Earth into the equation, then you are seeing half of the solar system’s planets all at once.

To give you an idea of scale, if you hold your thumb to the sky at arms length then the three planets will be covered by your thumb. Although, the planets are not physically close together, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will be 105 million miles, 150 million miles and 565 million miles away from Earth, respectively.

Here’s an animation of what you should be able to see: