The planet Venus looks like a bright star to the naked eye but it is 100 times brighter than the brightest stars in the sky. It is unmistakable to the naked eye and at its most prominent this month.
The planet Jupiter is also looks like a very bright star to the naked eye and it is 10 times brighter than the brightest stars in the sky.
On Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday mornings these two brilliant planet will make what looks like a brilliant ‘double star’ in the morning skies between 8am and 7am when most people are getting up to start their day.
“Already people have been calling and emailing Astronomy Ireland to ask what are the extremely bright pair of ‘stars’ in the morning sky as this rare ‘conjunction’ has not been widely reported in the media. “It is a rare spectacle of nature and everyone should take a look over the next few mornings especially,” said David Moore, editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine which predicted the ‘double planet’ in its October issue.
Of course, the two planets are not really close to one another in space, it is merely a line of sight effect, but extremely spectacular never the less. Venus is 9 times closer than Jupiter.
Venus is around 100 million km from Earth. Jupiter is about 900 million km from Earth. Venus is the same size as the Earth, but Jupiter is 11 times wider than Earth (and therefore Venus).
Slightly dimmer, but still visible to the naked eye is the planet Mars, which is the dimmer ‘star’ just to the lower left of the brilliant Venus-Jupiter pair over the next 4 mornings Oct. 24th-27th.