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Watch: `Dance` of the planets from May 24 to 30

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 00:26

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Astronomy lovers will have another eye-catching pleasure this week as three planets - Venus, Jupiter and Mercury - will come very close to each other in a planetary conjunction.

Called “dance” of the planets, the beautiful cosmic choreography will be seen immediately after sunset, followed by their vertical alignment on May 30 and 31 in the evening sky.

Everyone will have the opportunity to view this rare celestial event, which will be participated by three of our solar systems - Venus, Mercury and Jupiter. The dance will play itself out near the horizon in the West-North part of the sky.

The phenomenon will take place from May 24 to 30 and can be seen with naked eye each night. However, binoculars will be the best tool to observe Jupiter as it makes a remarkable appearance this month. After this event, the planets will slowly move behind the sun and will disappear by nightfall.

The planets Jupiter and Venus and the moon started to group on May 13 in the western part of the night sky. As the date May 23 draws near, the bright planets Jupiter and Venus will be close enough to fall under a binocular field of view. By May 28, they will come very close to each other.

Subsequently, Venus will move in a north-westerly (to the upper right) direction with respect to Jupiter and will be six times as bright as Jupiter.

While the best time to view the conjunction would be 30 to 60 minutes after the sunset, from May 23 to 29, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury will unite to a space of less than 5 degrees.

First Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 - 22:46

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