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Mars and Jupiter Put on Spectacular Early-Morning Planetary Display on January 7, 2018 (+Video)

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2018 opens with one of the year’s best and closest conjunctions.

Jupiter and Mars will share the same right ascension, with Jupiter passing 0°12′ to the north of Mars. This is the first conjunction of Mars and Jupiter since October 15, 2017 and the next one won’t be until March 20, 2020.

At around the same time, the two objects will also make a close approach, technically called an appulse.

Awake before sunrise? Go outside and look southeast. Jupiter and Mars are converging for a beautiful conjunction. At closest approach on Jan. 6th and 7th, the Red Planet and the giant planet will be no more than a quarter of a degree (1/4o) apart–half the diameter of a full Moon.  http://www.spaceweather.com/

Jupiter will be at mag -1.9, and Mars at mag 1.4, both in the constellation Libra.

The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.
https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id=20180107_19_100
http://earthsky.org/?p=269361
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/mars-jupiter-conjunction/

Clips, images credit: ESO, ESA/HUBBLE & NASA/JPL

 

 



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