Rare Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn ‘triple conjunction’ this weekend

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Did you see the “Christmas Star” last month? Another astronomical event referred to as a “triple conjunction” will be visible in the sky this weekend.

From Jan. 9-12, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn will be visible in the southwestern sky. The celestial event is known as a “triple conjunction,” which means two planets and a third planet meet each other in the sky for a short period of time.

Shortly after sunset on Jan. 9, look above the southwestern horizon and you will see Mercury to the left of Saturn and Jupiter positioned just above Saturn.

“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 twilight ends,” NASA wrote on its website.

According to Space.com, all three planets will fit within the field of view of binoculars. “Mercury and Saturn will be a challenge to see within the evening twilight – except for skywatchers at southerly latitudes, where the sky will darken faster.”

Skywatchers should find an unobstructed view of the horizon and begin stargazing no later than 45 minutes after sundown.

The planets will form a triple conjunction again on Feb. 13, according to NASA.

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