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Rare Three-Planet Conjunction of Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn to Illuminate the Sky This Weekend


CBS NEWS - Last month, Jupiter and Saturn treated skywatchers to a spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime "great conjunction," when they were closer in the night sky than they had been since medieval times. Now, as our solar system's two largest planets continue to drift apart, they will be joined by a third — Mercury — forming a rare three-planet conjunction.


A triple conjunction is traditionally defined as two planets meeting each other three times in a short timeframe but NASA has also used the term to refer to three planets meeting. A planetary trio is defined by planets within a circle with a diameter less than 5 degrees in width — which can be visualized as three fingers held together at an arm's length, according to EarthSky.



The last one occurred in October 2015.


Jupiter and Saturn have been slowly drifting apart since their extremely rare meeting in December, but Mercury is just now coming into view, forming the planetary triangle.


"From Friday evening to Monday evening, the planet Mercury will appear to pass first by Saturn and then by Jupiter as it shifts away from the horizon, visible each evening low in the west-southwest and setting before evening....READ MORE




CBS News is the news division of the American television and radio service CBS. CBS News television programs include the CBS Evening News, CBS This Morning, news magazine programs CBS News Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, and 48 Hours, and Sunday morning political affairs program Face the Nation.

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