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Cosmic huddle of planets between eminent events

A procession of celestial events is good to go to unfurl this year, and sky-gazers can scout for good watching grounds, whip out their optics, and prepared their telescopes.

The primary fascinating astronomical event will in February on the incredible combination of Saturn, Jupiter and Venus.

Meteor showers that have drawn star-gazers will top in August, and the zero shadow day will be seen on May 14. Four all out obscurations are set to happen. In any case, not one can be seen in India.

Director of Nehru Planetarium at Nehru Center Arvind Paranjpye said the extraordinary combination is on February 10 and 11. Ambitious people will be remunerated with a one of a kind display.

“Observing the eastern direction about 30 minutes before sunrise on February 10, one can see the thin lunar crescent, below which will be Saturn, then Jupiter and finally Venus. On February 11, Jupiter and Venus will be less than half a degree from each other. It will be a beautiful conjunction to watch as both are the top two brightest planets,” he said.

After a month, on March 10, one can see Saturn and to its correct will be the lunar bow. Underneath it will be Jupiter and afterward Mercury. On March 11, the following day, the lunar bow will be underneath and to one side of Mercury. Mars will be over the western skyline not long after dusk for almost the whole evening and it combines up with other divine articles.

On April 17, Mars will be overshadowed by the moon. At about 5.30pm, the moon will impede Mars behind it and by 7.15pm, Mars can be seen rising up out of behind the moon.

“Mars then pairs up with Venus on July 12. This will be another interesting event as the shining Venus will be seen alongside a muddy red Mars. Mars then pairs up with Mercury on August 19. It will be closest to Mercury at 8.48pm. In the evening of August 18 and 19, one has an excellent chance to see both. Mars again pairs up with Mercury on November 10, but that will be seen in the morning sky,” Paranjpye said.

Meteor showers pull in numerous individuals. Paranjpye said the Perseid meteor shower will top on August 12 and 13, however this will be amidst the rainstorm. Both the Leonid and Geminid showers in November will be cleaned out by brilliant twilight.

As the Earth and different planets circumvent the Sun in circular circles, the distance between the planets and the Sun continues evolving. “The Earth will be closest to the Sun on January 2 in perihelion when it will be 147 million km away. It will reach its farthest point from the Sun called aphelion on July 6 and will be 152 million km away,” Paranjpye said.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Daily Pune journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.