National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Close Planetary Encounter Seen above Mauna Kea

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Subaru Telescope’s Public Information Officer/Scientist, Dr. Hideaki Fujiwara, was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time to view and photograph the rendezvous of Venus and Jupiter in the night sky above Mauna Kea. Although Venus and Jupiter come close to each other about every 13 months, observers need to be positioned just right to see it. Over twenty more years may pass before the planets align so that observers can view this beautiful celestial event again.

Figure: The Venus and Jupiter duo is bright in the center of the sky. The Pleiades are above the planets. The Andromeda Galaxy is in the lower right quadrant of the photo, barely visible as a small, blurry ball. Zodiacal light shines above the illuminated telescope enclosures.