Locals are in for a stunning show in the evening sky tonight as the conjunction of the moon, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible from the Mother City.
May and June have proven to be busy months for solar events this year. First, we were able to spot the International Space Station from Cape Town. Following this we were treated to a bright lunar spectacle as a Strawberry Moon shone over the Mother City and now the most significant of all will take place this evening.
Late tonight [June 8], the moon, Jupiter and Saturn will draw near to one another, forming somewhat of a triangular shape visible in the night sky.
“The Moon, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible (weather permitting) from the southern skies. The Moon will rise around 9pm this evening, and you will be able to see Jupiter and Saturn in close proximity to the Moon from that time. Best viewed after 10pm when the Moon has risen higher,” says Professor and Head of the Astronomy Department at UCT, Patrick Woudt.
The rare astronomical occurrence when astral bodies move closer together or to the moon is referred to as a conjunction. In reality ,the planets are millions of kilometres away from one another but from the perspective of the Earth they appear to be right next to each other.
In some parts of the world, the event can look like a triangle while in others it may resemble a smiley face.
Our next astrological event will only take place in July, with a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse expected to grace the night sky on July 5.
Look up at the sky this evening and see what form this rare event will take.