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Tonight At Sunset Pause Arrested Development And Look At Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury Together

You can see Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter together tonight, that is if you can pull yourself away from Netflix for five minutes.

Space Triangle

I get it. It’s Memorial Day weekend. You have 15 episodes of Arrested Development to get through before returning to work, but tonight take a minute to look to the Western sky and see Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus huddled together. It’s not something you get to see every day, and in fact it’s pretty rare.

The formation is known as a triple conjunction, and the last time we had one was in May of 2011. If you miss this one your next chance will be October 2015, but this one is particularly special because it will be the three brightest planets in the sky. You’ll even be able to see it through most urban light pollution as long as you have a clear line of sight.

If you can’t pull yourself away from Netflix tonight, you can catch the trio of planets tomorrow night in a slightly more spread-out arrangement. On Tuesday May 27th Venus and Jupiter will be together separated by one degree.

This ScienceCast video from NASA has all the details of tonight’s event:

The best time to look is 30 to 60 minutes after sunset. I’ll try to get some pictures of the formation tonight, but I’ll have to find a less obstructed view than I typically get in my neighborhood. If you get any good pictures, send them over to our tips at account.

(via, image via Science@NASA)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.