- European Southern Observatory
- Venus and Jupiter will appear together in the sky before sunrise.
- The close pairing of the two brightest planets is known as the Venus-Jupiter conjunction.
- The astronomical event also occurred in 2016 and 2015.
- Viewers from anywhere in the world should look in the direction of sunrise low on the east-southeast horizon.
In the pre-dawn hours, the two brightest planets in our solar system, Venus and Jupiter, will appear to move past each other forming what looks like a bright double star.
The phenomenon, known as the Venus-Jupiter conjunction, will happen just before sunrise on November 13 or November 14, depending on where you live in the world.
The two planets are actually over 400 million miles apart but will rise within 0.3 degrees of each other at their closest.
How to view from anywhere in the world
To spot the close pairing of Venus and Jupiter, no matter where you live in the world, sky-gazers should look in the direction of sunrise very low on the east-southeast horizon, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
You should go out about 45 minutes before sunrise, and can expect a better a view if you stand on a hilltop or balcony, according to EarthSky.
In the UK, Venus will rise at 5:56 a.m. local time, followed by Jupiter at 6:05 a.m. The planets will stay visible for about an hour until sunrise at 7:15 a.m. local time.
On the East Coast of the US, the planets will rise at about 5:30 a.m. local time, according to Space.com, followed by sunrise between 6:30 a.m. and 6:50 a.m., depending on your location.
Since the event will be followed by the rising sun, viewers should protect their eyes and make sure never to stare directly at the sun through binoculars or a telescope.
The conjunction isn’t super rare
The conjunction also happened in 2015 and 2016, when the two planets appeared even closer together.
“The orbit of Venus is tipped just 3.4° with respect to Earth’s, Jupiter even less at 1.3°. So these close conjunctions are destined to occur,” according to Sky and Telescope.