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Look Up: two moon-planet conjunctions can be seen this week

Moon and planet pairings
Posted at 12:38 PM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 13:43:09-05

TULSA, Okla. — Night sky gazers, this is your week! Green Country will be able to see two moon-planet conjunctions over the next several days.

What is a moon-planet conjunction?

In astronomy, conjunction is when two or more space objects are close together and can be seen visually.

Conjunctions take place when the moon and other planets in proximity to Earth such as Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn.

Which conjunctions are happening this week?

On Dec. 7 at 7:49 p.m. local time, the conjunction of the moon and the planet Saturn will be seen. This will happen when both planets are positioned in the constellation Capricornus.

On Dec. 9 at 12:10 a.m. local time, the Moon will get close to a different planet, Jupiter, for several days. Both will still be found in the constellation Capricornus.

Astronomers believe early December's conjunctions with Saturn and Jupiter will be spectacular due to their planetary alignment. All three will be lined up in a perfectly straight row.

How to see a moon-planet conjunction

Curious about what these space phenomenons look like? Here is what you need to know in advance before you go gazing:

  • The moon phase is a waxing crescent this week. It's possible that the conjunction can be easily seen on either night, but if the moon is too bright, it can be harder to see the conjunctions.
  • Knowing the space objects’ trajectory across the sky will help you to spot the conjunctions in the sky.
  • If you need extra help, use a stargazing app to help guide you to find the conjunction or to find out any name of a bright space object in the sky!

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