A special week is ahead for sky gazers and astronomy enthusiasts as two of Earth’s immediate neighbors – Venus and Mars will be coming close to one another in the coming days. This celestial event is called ‘planetary conjunction’ because it will be easily visible to the naked eye.
Being observable only from Earth, a ‘planetary conjunction’ occurs when two planets come closest to each other on a specific day even though they remain far away.
Informing people about social media events, the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) shared a post revealing details. “Mars and Venus are passing close to each other in the sky and will be only 0.5 degrees (as wide as the size of the Moon) on 13 July,” a tweet from the official handle reads.
Further in the post, the IIA informed that the moon would also be close to Venus and Mars on 12 July. The institute had asked sky gazers to go out and witness the event every evening from today, 8 July.
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
This amazing sight will be only visible in the western sky or horizon under clear sky conditions after sunset.
As the meeting of these celestial objects is a significant occurrence in the sky, astronomy enthusiasts can commence observing the sky from Thursday (8 July) and continue till Tuesday (13 July). People who continue watching it after the event will also see the departure of these planets. Any ordinary binoculars will show Venus and Mars at their closest.
Meanwhile, the Pune-based Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and the IIA, located in Bengaluru, have invited photograph entries of the event. Interested candidates can send their photos or sketches to [email protected]. The best among them will be published by the institutes online.