China News Service, Guangzhou, April 28 (Guo Jun and Li Jianji) According to the Guangzhou Wuyang Planetarium, at 3:00 a.m. on May 1 this year, in the vast night sky, apart from the moon, the two brightest celestial bodies - Venus and Jupiter will converge in the east before dawn.
Experts said that the rare celestial phenomenon of Venus meeting Jupiter this time, the observation conditions in the south (low latitudes) are better than those in the north (high latitudes); the observation conditions in the southern hemisphere are more ideal than those in the northern hemisphere.
As long as the sky is clear, it can be seen all over China and can be observed for three consecutive days (April 30 to May 2).
According to reports, recently, Venus, the closest planet to the earth, is chasing Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, from west to east, both of which converge in the constellation Pisces.
In the early hours of April 30, Venus is southwest of Jupiter (upper right).
At 3:00 on May 1, Venus catches up with Jupiter, and the two are located on the same longitude.
But at this time, the distance between the two is not the closest.
When Venus travels a little further east, the two will be closest to each other, about 0.2 degrees apart.
The apparent diameter of a full moon is about 0.5 degrees. If the "half moon (first quarter moon or last quarter moon)" passes in front of it at this time, Jupiter and Venus can be obscured at the same time.
In the early hours of May 2, Venus is east of (below) Jupiter.
Because Venus is relatively close to the sun and the earth, it runs relatively fast. The average angular distance of its daily movement is about 1.6 degrees, which is larger than that of three full moons arranged together.
Jupiter is relatively far away from the sun and the earth, and runs a little slower, with an average angular distance of about 0.083 degrees per day.
Therefore, with Jupiter, the public can clearly see Venus moving eastward relatively quickly in the sky.
In the east before sunrise, Venus, Jupiter and Mars can be seen at the same time in recent days. How to distinguish them?
In terms of brightness, Venus is the brightest, with an apparent brightness of minus 4.1 magnitudes; Jupiter is second with minus 2.1 magnitudes; Mars is slightly dimmer, reaching 0.9 magnitudes, slightly inferior to Altair (0.77 magnitudes) in the constellation Aquila.
The greater the apparent brightness, the smaller the magnitude value.
In addition, not far to the southwest of Venus (upper right), the orange-red Mars can be found.
On May 1, Venus and Jupiter converge, almost coincident, but this is only a visual phenomenon.
In fact, the two are about 700 million kilometers apart, which is about 4.7 the distance between the sun and the earth.
Venus converges with Jupiter, the last time it happened on February 11, 2021, and the next time it will be on March 2, 2023.
This time Venus meets Jupiter, and the observation conditions are ideal, because Jupiter and Venus are 43 degrees away from the sun, which is very rare.
In southern China, Jupiter and Venus rise in the east more than two hours before the sun.
In the southern hemisphere, Jupiter and Venus rise nearly 3 hours earlier than the sun in the east, and the viewing conditions are better.
When is the best time to observe?
Experts said that the best viewing time in all parts of China is about 70 minutes earlier than the sunrise time for observation, and the observation orientation is at a low altitude slightly south of the east.
On May 1, in Guangzhou, the sunrise time is 5:56, that is, Guangzhou can start observation at 4:46.
Available with binoculars and small telescopes.
It can also be taken with mobile phones and SLR digital cameras.