You can see Jupiter AND Saturn next to Moon this week – here’s when and where to look
JUPITER and Saturn will be in conjunction with the Moon this week, meaning you’ll be able to see them all close together.
Stargazers will need to look towards the evening sky tomorrow if they want to see Jupiter and the almost full Moon shining side by side.
This image shows a previous occasion on which Saturn and Jupiter appeared close together, this week they’ll be more to the right-hand-side[/caption]
Jupiter’s close approach to the Moon will happen on August 28 at 21:35 EDT.
That will be 0:235 GMT on August 29 for stargazers in the UK.
Weather permitting, you should be able to see Jupiter to the slight upper right of the Moon and Saturn shining slightly higher up and further to the right.
Try looking beneath the Sagittarius constellation.
On the evening of August 29 it will be Saturn’s turn to be in conjunction with the Moon.
There are many stargazing apps that you can download which will point you in the right direction of constellations and planets in the sky.
Both Jupiter and Saturn should just look like bright stars with the naked eye.
If you do use a smartphone app to locate them, remember to give your eyes a break from your phone for a better stargazing experience.
You see more in very dark locations when your eyes have adjusted to the night.
Those will good telescopes can try and see Saturn’s rings.
Saturn’s rings – what are they, and how did they form?
Here’s what you need to know…
- The rings of Saturn are mostly made of water ice particles, as well as some rock debris and dust
- It’s the most extensive ring system of any planet in our Solar System
- The dense main rings extend from 4,300 miles away to 50,000 miles away from Saturn’s equator
- They have an estimated local thickness that ranges from 10 metres to 1 kilometre
- The rings are caught in a balancing act around the planet
- Gravity is drawing them inwards, but the speed of their orbit wants to fling them out to space
- But latest research suggests gravity is winning, with Saturn’s rings expected to disappear within 100million and 300million years
- Scientists are divided on exactly how the rings of Saturn formed
- One theory is that small, icy moons orbiting Saturn collided, smashing up into bits and creating rings
- It’s also possible these icy moons were struck by large comets or asteroids, or were broken apart by gravity
- The second popular theory is that the rings were never part of a moon, but leftover material from the formation of Saturn
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In other space news, a mysterious radio signal beamed to Earth from a distant galaxy has been detected again by astronomers.
Astronomers have spotted the Moon flashing at us “over and over”.
And, life on Earth was almost wiped out when a distant star exploded nearly 360millions years ago, according to a new study.
Will you be stargazing this week? Let us know in the comments…
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