Venus and Jupiter to come super-close on Aug 18
Scientists have revealed that Venus and Jupiter will form a striking "double star" low in the eastern sky before dawn on August 18th.
The two planets will appear only 1/3 degree apart — a bit tighter than that in the eastern U.S. — close enough for both to be easily covered by the tip of your little finger at arm's length.
The superclose conjunction can be seen as early as 80 minutes before sunrise and the best views will probably be from 60 to 30 minutes before sunrise, depending on how clear the air is, when the planets will be not quite so low.
As close as this conjunction is for early risers in North America, the pairing will be even tighter for skywatchers in Europe. From there, Venus and Jupiter will appear just 0.2 degrees apart, about half the width of a pencil held at arm's length.
Binoculars will make it easier to spot the two planets, especially as dawn twilight brightens and even the smallest backyard telescope will show a dramatic view, as both planets will fit with room to spare in the same low-power telescopic field of view.
(Posted on 15-08-2014)