A celestial extravaganza was seen in the western sky on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Three astronomical bodies, the Moon, Venus and Jupiter appeared very near to each other forming a triangle. Star gazers commented that the spectacular view was divine to watch.
Since, these three astronomical bodies, Moon, Venus and Jupiter are the second, third and fourth brightest objects respectively in our solar system after the Sun, it was very easy to locate them in the night sky.
Dr Abel Yang, who teaches physics and astronomy at the National University of Singapore has earlier explained that to watch the divine event, try to find clear location where you can see the sky clearly with least possible obstructions in the west and try to locate the three very close brightest objects in the sky. He further explained that one can clearly see two bright celestial bodies very near to the moon. All the three objects formed a triangle with Jupiter just hovering over the moon on the right and Venus on the left.
Due to Ramzan, Friday’s moon was a crescent moon and both the planet were on either side of the moon. During conjunction, the two planets was separated by a distance less than the diameter of moon when seen from the Earth.
Venus is the second planet from Sun in our solar system and is located 77 million km from the Earth while Jupiter being the largest planet and fifth from the Sun is located 909 million km from Earth. Although Jupiter is the largest planet, Venus is brighter as it is closer to the Sun and moon is brightest of them all since it is closest among all the three celestial bodies.
Some refer the event as “Star of Bethlehem” which led to the birth of Jesus and astronomers say that the way planets are arranged this time is similar what happened 2000 years ago when the Christ was born.
All the three bodies were in a triangle on Friday night and it was visible with the naked eyes. However, the spectacular phenomenon was also in the daytime as well but it varied depending on the location and time zone. They made an appearance at 6:45 am IST on Sunday, July 19.
The moon actually passed in front of the Venus on Monday, July 20 at 6:30 am IST, favoring the South Pacific though the rest of the world saw a stunningly close pass.
First Published on July 18, 2015 at 4:34 am