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Science@NASA presents the October conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and Mars in our pre-dawn sky.
OUT OF THIS WORLD | Earth, Space And The Stuff In Between - a daily journey through weather, space and science with meteorologist/science writer Scott Sutherland

Brilliant celestial triangle at dawn this week, here's when


Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist/Science Writer

Monday, October 26, 2015, 1:48 PM - Wake up early this week to greet the dawn, and you'll find three bright planets waiting to greet you back, as Jupiter, Venus and Mars form a brilliant conjunction in our morning skies.

As we prepared for the start of Fall, one event in the night sky that featured along side eclipses and meteor showers was the October 28 conjunction of three bright planets.

If you haven't already noticed this trio in the pre-dawn skies, this week is definitely the time to check it out. Here's what they looked like as of the morning of Sunday, October 25, taken by Weather Network meteorologist and astrophotographer Kerry-Ann Lecky Hepburn:


Look closely and we may even be seeing one or two of Jupiter's largest moons. Image Credit: www.weatherandsky.com. Used with permission.

Over the next few days, the trio will draw even closer together.


Credit: Stellarium

What's going on here?

Simply enough, as the planets are going around the Sun in their orbits, Jupiter, Venus and Mars lie along an almost straight line, when observed from Earth. Below is a solar system perspective of the conjunction, with the planet sizes exaggerated to better tell them apart from one another.


Planetary positions as of October 26, 2015. Credit: SolarSystemScope.com

The sight of these three in the morning skies can be enjoyed any morning this week, and even in the weeks to come, as they will still be visible together in morning skies throughout November, although drawing farther and farther apart each day.

Credit: NASA | WeatherandSky

Related Video: See the Oct 7/8 conjunction of Venus, Mars Jupiter and Mercury, along with Aurora Borealis and the Moon.

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