A little after 7 pm this evening, sky gazers can witness two of Earth’s neighbours — Venus and Mars — close to each other. This event is called ‘planetary conjunction’and the planets can be spotted by their brightness. Venus will be brighter than Mars appearing in dazzling white, while Mars can be seen in a ruby red colour.
It will be easily visible to the naked eye in the western sky soon after sunset. The two planets will be just 0.5 degrees apart or a finger’s width apart. Along with the planets, you will be able to see a thin, dimly lit crescent Moon. From tomorrow, Venus will continue moving to the left each evening, away from Mars.
Pune-based Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IAA), Bengaluru, have invited photographic entries of the event, the best of which will be published by the institutes.
Mars and Venus are passing close to each other in the sky and will be only 0.5 deg (as wide as the size of the Moon) on 13 July. The Moon will also be close to them on 12 July. This is a naked eye event, so go out and see them every evening from today. We bring you 12 posters! pic.twitter.com/kdLmiDPsCO
— IIAstrophysics (@IIABengaluru) July 8, 2021
The last Venus-Mars conjunction occurred on August 24, 2019, and the next will be on February 22, 2024.
Last month, NASA announced two missions to Venus, called DAVINCI+ and VERITAS. NASA is expected to allot $500 million to each of these missions that will launch between 2028-2030.
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