Watch the conjunction of Venus and Saturn in the free webcast on January 22
During the evening of Sunday (Jan. 22), the solar system planets Saturn and Venus will meet in the night sky and make a close approach. Fortunately, skywatchers who don’t want to brave January’s bitter cold can watch the encounter from the comfort of their homes.
The Virtual Telescope Project will stream the close approach and setup, known as a “conjunction,” between Venusthe second planet from the sun, and Saturn, the second largest planet in the solar system. The live stream will begin while the two planets are less than half a degree apart, which is less than the angular size of the full moon and equal to half the width of an arm’s length finger.
The Virtual Telescope Project’s live stream of the conjunction of Venus and Saturn begins at 1:30 PM EST (1830 GMT) on Sunday (January 22) and will be available to watch online for free thanks to the project website (opens in new tab) or Youtube Channel (opens in new tab).
Both Saturn and Venus are visible to the naked eye in the night sky, but there is a huge difference between the brightness of the two. Venus is the next brightest object in the sky the sun and the moon and during the conjunction will be magnitude -3.9. Saturn, famous for the rings that surround it, will have a magnitude of 0.7 during the conjunction. (Negative numbers indicate bright objects in the sky.)
That means Saturn will be 100 times fainter than Venus during the conjunction, according to Virtual Telescope Project principal and astrophysicist Gianluca Masi. Masi will observe the conjunction between Venus and Saturn from Ceccano, Italy.
During the conjunction, the two planets will be close enough in the night sky to be resolved with a telescope. Skywatchers will also be able to observe the conjunction with binoculars or the naked eye, although Saturn may be difficult to see without the aid of an instrument.
Conditions for viewing the spectacle should be favorable, weather permitting, as the moon will only be a 2% illuminated crescent the next day January new moon on Saturday (January 21).
According to In the air (opens in new tab), from New York City, the conjunction between Venus and Saturn will become visible around 5:18 p.m. EST (2218 GMT) in the constellation of Capricorn about 14 degrees above the horizon to the southwest. The planets set about two hours after the sun at 6:48 p.m. EST (2348 GMT).
The conjunction of these planets marks the beginning of the evening apparition of Venus. According to Joe Rao of Space.comVenus’ evening apparition will see it literally soar high into the sky by late spring, during which time the already bright planet will more than double its brightness.
As Venus rises above the horizon, Saturn will dip in the night sky each subsequent night during this period, disappearing into twilight in the process. This leads to Saturn’s solar conjunction on February 16, 2023.
If you’re hoping to observe the conjunction between Saturn and Venus for yourself, our guides to the best telescopes and best binoculars are a great place to start. If you want to take some pictures of the conjunction, go to our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography.
Editor’s Note: If you get the Saturn-Venus conjunction and want to share it with the readers of Space.com, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to [email protected]. This story was updated on January 22 with the new start time for this live stream and its YouTube video feed.
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