Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon Form a Triangle in the Night Sky
The trio were easily visible on October 14, 2021.
If you happened to look up at the sky last night, you were in for a real treat! The solar system’s two biggest planets – Jupiter and Saturn – as well as Earth’s moon were all easily visible and very close to each other. This trio of celestial objects formed an inverted isosceles triangle, with the base formed by Jupiter and Saturn, and the apex being the Moon. Here is a picture of the triangle that Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon formed:
The gas giants of our solar system – Jupiter and Saturn – have appeared close together in the night sky since since last year’s great conjunction (great conjunctions between Jupiter and Saturn occur about every 20 years; the last one took place on December 21, 2020). Approximately once a month, the moon will come close to Jupiter and Saturn (from our perspective here on Earth).
It is incredible to see with your naked eye, especially considering how far away Jupiter and Saturn are from Earth: Jupiter is 400 million miles from Earth, and Saturn is an incredible 900 million miles from Earth! The Moon, in comparison, is only 240,000 miles from Earth. It takes sunlight almost an hour and a half to reach Saturn (versus the 8 minutes it takes sunlight to reach Earth)!
Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon will also be visible and form a triangle tonight – October 15, 2021 – although the Moon won’t be as perfectly midway between Jupiter and Saturn as it was last night.
For reference, here is the original photograph (without the yellow highlights showing Jupiter, Saturn, and the triangle):
Did you happen to see this trio – Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon – form a triangle in the night sky? What other astronomical events have you seen? Let me know in the comments below!
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