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SkyWatcher alert for Saturday, August 27, 2016

Venus and Jupiter conjunction, June 2015

With local skies in the New Albany area forecast to be “mostly clear” tomorrow evening, local skywatchers have a good chance of seeing a significant cosmic event. Just before sunset, Venus and Jupiter will be visible low in the western horizon. They will not be this close again until November of 2065, 49 years in the future. Many of us should not expect to see that one.

This event should be visible to the naked eye, but the two planets will be so close together that they may appear to many people to be one large body. So you may wish to have your binoculars available for close-up watching. Also, look for a third planet, Mercury, to be “close by,” though lower (and less bright) on the horizon.

EarthSky.org viewing guide

EarthSky.org viewing guide

For optimal viewing of all three planets, you will need an unobstructed view of the western horizon, because the planets will not be high in the sky. Optimal time is 30 to 60 minutes after sunset on Saturday evening, August 27th. Sunset for our immediate area (Zip Code 38652) will be at 7:30 PM.  If you wait too long after sunset, you may miss the show, because the planets are low on the horizon and will be completely set by full dark.

Good watching! And if you get a good photo, we will happily share it in our SPOTLIGHT section.

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