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Venus, Jupiter conjunction tomorrow: Set your alarms for 45 minutes before sunrise

12 November 2017

From the western U.S., when they rise, the gap between the planets will have widened slightly, to 21 arc minutes (0.35 degrees), the online portal Space reports.

Image caption Venus seen crossing the sun.

The planets will be visible to the naked eye about 45 minutes before sunrise. The two planets will also be fairly close to each other in the days just ahead of and just after the conjunction. The says that skywatchers in the Southern Hemisphere are less well placed for this event as there's not "much time before it gets too bright out to see the two planets at all".

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The conjunction will be slightly more hard to watch in the United States, because sunrise comes earlier than in Britain. As most planets in the Solar System orbit the Sun on a similar plane, from the Earth's point of view, they follow a more or less similar travel path across the sky. Neither planet will have risen for observers on the U.S. East Coast by then - that won't happen for another few hours, at about 5:30 a.m. EST (1030 GMT).

Venus and Jupiter will appear very close together above the eastern horizon just before sunrise on November 13.

Those watching from the United Kingdom will get an hour of extra viewing time before the sun rises and blots it out, notes the Express.

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In Los Angeles, the conjunction will be well below the horizon when it occurs, though, on the morning of November 13, Venus and Jupiter will rise at 5:19 a.m. and 5:18 a.m., respectively. The sun rises at 7:15 a.m. local time. You won't need a telescope, but a pair of binoculars will make seeing the planets easier.

The conjunction also happened in 2015 and 2016, when the two planets appeared even closer together. "So these close conjunctions are destined to occur", according to Sky and Telescope.

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