Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Jupiter and Mercury Conjunction

Click on image for a larger view

The word "conjunction" may bring back memories of english class, but it's a totally different meaning in astronomy.  In this case it means the meeting of two or more celestial objects in the sky.  In this case, Jupiter and Mercury were just about 2 degrees apart on the evening of March 15, 2011.  Watch them in the western sky for the next few evenings and you'll see Jupiter drop lower in the sky and Mercury rise higher.

This image was taken with my Driod X cell phone.

Even though these planets seem to be very close together, they are actually billions of miles apart.  Mercury is a little over 93 million miles away, but Jupiter it about 550 million miles.  If you  were to view the Sun and these planets from out in space they would look like the graphic below.

Click on the image for a larger view

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