The planets Jupiter and Venus continue to dominate the western and southwestern sky after sunset. The two bright planets are about 50º apart at the start of May, but they begin to race closer towards each other on the way to a lovely conjunction on June 30 when they will be just 0.3° apart above the northwestern horizon after sunset. This will be the closest approach of the two planets until August 2016.
At magnitude -4.2, Venus will greatly outshine Jupiter (magnitude -1.9). But by coincidence, each planet will appear to have approximately the same apparent size. The pair will easily fit into the same field of view as a small telescope. Jupiter’s moons and bands will be visible. Venus has no moon, of course, but it will present a striking crescent shape in a telescope. The two planets will also be visible together during this conjunction in the daytime in a telescope.
Slooh is planning a live show of this striking planetary conjunction on June 30, 2015. Not a member yet? You can get started with your Slooh experience for just $1.