VENUS and Jupiter will rise together early Monday morning in what promises to be a spectacular cosmic encounter. But when will the planets align and how can you watch the conjunction?
Two of the brightest planets in the night’s sky will rise as one in the small hours of Monday, in a rare treat for stargazers.
Venus and Jupiter will both be visible in the eastern sky about an hour before sunrise, staying low on the horizon.
In the UK, Venus will rise at 5.56am, with Jupiter following close behind at 5.58am.
The two planets, which are about 416 million miles apart in the solar system, are due to rise within 0.3 degrees of each other.
How to watch the Venus and Jupiter conjunction
As with all astronomical events, the conjunction will be best viewed in a rural location away from any light pollution.
Be warned, the planets will rise so close to each other that they might look like one extremely bright star.
The phenomenon will be visible with the naked eye, but those wanting a clearer view can use a telescope or binoculars.
Venus and Jupiter will be observable in the constellation Virgo, according to Space.com, west of what should be a gorgeous waning crescent moon.
Stargazers in the UK will get over an hour of viewing time before light from the Sun hides the planets – more than in the United States.
The Northern Hemisphere will have the best viewing conditions, as the planets do not rise in the south until about 40 minutes before daybreak.
Earthsky.com recommends finding a viewing spot with a clear horizon, preferably on top of a hill or balcony.
What will the viewing conditions be like?
Viewing conditions should be clear for most in the UK on Monday morning, though it is expected to be chilly.
The Met Office is forecasting frost in places with temperatures falling as low as -3C in northern regions.
Cloud will thicken throughout the day from the west, but should not impede on the spectacle before sunrise.