While we all know March holds a lot of interesting celestial events, this weekend some pretty interesting ones are coming forth. Not only will two powerful planets be aligning, but we will also be facing a flyby from an asteroid.
On the night of the 4th Mercury and Jupiter will be conjuncting one another. This moving into the day of the 5th. Basically throughout this weekend, the two planets will appear to be very close by one another in the night sky. While they’re still very far in reality, they will almost seem close enough to touch one another when we look up to view them.
That all having been said unless you have a telescope or some binoculars they will overall look like bright stars. When they align like this, they come together in our sky even if they’re far apart in actuality. If you want to view this you should do your best to look for Jupiter in the sky as it will be the brightest of the two planets and shouldn’t be hard to find.
ABC 11 wrote as follows on this conjunction:
Mercury, the smallest planet, and Jupiter, the largest planet, will meet on March 5 in a celestial event known as a conjunction. This means the planets will appear at their closest to each other. In reality, the planets are still millions of miles apart but appear close when their orbits align.
To catch a glimpse, look to the southeastern sky about an hour before dawn to see the two planets. Mercury is the hardest planet to spot due to its proximity to the sun, according to AccuWeather. Look for Jupiter, which will appear brighter and can help you locate the tinier planet.
This conjunction isn’t the only thing that will be happening in the celestial world this weekend as noted above, there will also be an asteroid passing us by. This is asteroid Apophis which you’ve probably already been hearing about for a while now. This asteroid will not be something we can typically see with the naked eye but if you have a small telescope or something of the sort, you may want to see if you can try to find it.
This asteroid will be passing us by on the 5th as well and while it will still be pretty far from our planet, some believe it could hit us though that is quite unlikely and not something most are even considering. Overall, this asteroid isn’t a threat and will pass us by without issue.
Space.com wrote as follows on this asteroid and its passing:
Our solar system’s most infamous asteroid will pass by Earth on Friday (March 5), and with a high-end telescope you can watch it as it safely whizzes by our planet.
We’re talking about none other than asteroid 99942 Apophis, which will come even closer to Earth on April 13, 2029, when it passes through the zone of high-altitude satellites. But even then, Apophis won’t hit Earth as some had predicted — so instead, let’s focus on what science is coming from these flybys.
The near-Earth asteroid is roughly 1,000 feet (300 meters) across and was discovered in 2004. Initial early estimates suggested there was a small chance of Apophis hitting Earth in 2029, but scientists ruled out that possibility after looking at archival images, NASA said.
As you can see, there is a lot going on in the night sky this weekend. This means energies as a whole will be all over the place. What do you think about the things to come? I am for one quite excited to see Jupiter and Mercury so close to one another.