Ready to see a close encounters of two planets? During the second week of November, the planet Jupiter begins making itself evident, emerging from the glare of the rising Sun and slowly climbing up from the horizon and toward Venus. The two planets will appear spectacularly close together, rising side-by-side on the morning of November 13th. Watch for this spectacular “dynamic duo,” known as conjunction, on three consecutive mornings — November 12th, 13th, and 14th.
On the 12th, Jupiter appears 1¼-degrees below Venus. On the 13th, they are separated by just 0.3-degree, or little more than one-half the apparent width of the Moon.
The two visible planets will appear to rise side-by-side, with brighter Venus (magnitude -3.9) on the left and Jupiter (magnitude -1.7) on the right. Most telescopes will show them in the same field of view. The great Jovian planet appears three times wider than the nearly full disk of Venus. On the 14th, the two planets are again separated by 1¼-degrees, but this time with Jupiter appearing to the upper right of Venus. Thereafter, as the month progresses, Jupiter appears higher and Venus lower at dawn.
Here is an important tip to those of you planning to catch a view of this amazing double planet show: Make sure that your view toward the east-southeast horizon is free of any tall obstructions such as buildings or trees. Both planets will appear quite low to the horizon, so you’ll need a nice wide-open view. Your best view will come about 45 minutes before sunrise.