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Jupiter, Mercury, Venus converged for rare show for astronomers

May 28, 2013

Jupiter, Mercury, Venus converged for rare show for astronomers

A rare show fro astronomers.

As the Sun set on Memorial Day 2013, people were able to look to the west and see planetary neighbors Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter performing the celestial dance known as a planetary conjunction. Observers did not need any special equipment; the planets were bright enough for the human eye to suffice.

While an unobstructed view was necessary to catch the planets in their splendor—pollution does not count, as the light of the planets is bright enough to pierce through—all three bodies could be seen in this conjunction, also called a planetary trio. According to EarthSky.org, a planetary trio consists of any three planets that are less than 5 degrees from each other.

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