For a spectacular night-sky sight you can enjoy while social distancing, look up late tonight (June 8) and early tomorrow morning to see Jupiter and Saturn form a triangle with Earth's moon.
The waning, gibbous moon was in conjunction with Jupiter (opens in new tab) — meaning they shared the same celestial longitude — today at 1:21 p.m. EDT (1721 GMT). It will swing by Saturn (opens in new tab) just nine hours later, reaching conjunction with the ringed planet at 10:12 p.m. EDT (0212 GMT on Tuesday, June 9).
The trio will rise into the evening sky just before midnight, and you can see them together all night long until they fade into the morning twilight. To find the three celestial bodies, turn to the south and look for the moon (opens in new tab), which will guide you to the bright planets nearby. Jupiter will be to the west (right) of the moon, and Saturn will be centered above the two.
Give your eyes about 20 minutes to get adjusted to the darkness, and if you must use a sky chart or your phone, make sure to use red light filters to keep your eyes from getting too badly affected by light (washing out your view of the night sky).
The Jupiter-moon conjunction will take place in the constellation Sagittarius (opens in new tab). The moon will be at roughly magnitude -12.5, while Jupiter will be at about magnitude -2.6, according to In-The-Sky.org (opens in new tab). The brightest stars visible with the naked eye are typically around magnitude (opens in new tab) 5 or 6, by comparison, so these bright objects should be easy to spot even in light-polluted areas.
If you're lucky enough to have a telescope (opens in new tab), Jupiter and the moon will be too far apart to fit in a single field of view. But the pair will be visible in a pair of binoculars (opens in new tab).
Later in the evening, the moon and Saturn will be in the constellation Capricornus (opens in new tab). The moon will remain at magnitude -12.5, according to In-The-Sky.org (opens in new tab), while Saturn will be at magnitude 0.2 — still highly visible in the night sky. Just like with the moon and Jupiter, the two celestial bodies will be too far apart for a single telescopic view. But they'll fit just fine in a pair of binoculars.
Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo or video that you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).
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