SPACE: Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter form "triple conjunction" this weekend

  • SPACE: Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter form

SPACE: Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter form "triple conjunction" this weekend

Providing you were in a place that had clear skies, last month you had a chance to see the Christmas Star.

As you may recall from seeing a news story about it every single day for three months, on December 21, 2020, we were treated to a once-in-800-years "Great Conjunction," aka the "Christmas Star" aka the "Planets' Kiss". Gazers should seek out the rare, planetary alignment no later than 45 minutes after sunset, according to EarthSky.

The planetary trifecta will be visible at dusk starting tonight through Monday, with NASA saying, "the planet Mercury will appear to pass first by Saturn and then by Jupiter as it shifts away from the horizon, visible each evening low in the west-southwest and setting before evening twilight ends".

The website says: "These three planets will snuggle up most closely on the sky's dome for the month, fitting inside a circle measuring 2.4 degrees in diameter".

All three planets will fit within the field of view of binoculars.

According to WMTW, the planet Mercury is joining Jupiter and Saturn to form a "triangle" in the sky.

Space.com's skywatching columnist Joe Rao strongly recommends that, because the trio will appear so close to the horizon and so close to sunset, stargazers use a pair of binoculars to clearly see the planets against the twilight sky.

So, the 3 planets will occupy a relatively small amount of space in the sky and you will need to look for them at just the right time from just the right location.

The three planets will appear right next to each other for several days, and they'll become centered on January 10, according to EarthSky.

Mercury is much closer at about 120 million miles from Earth.