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Planetary Conjunction - 11 May 2011
On the morning of 11 May 2011 there will be a close conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. Also Mars will be close by. The sun rises very early around this time of year (about 5:15 BST) so you will have to be up early to catch the conjunction.

The sky chart on the right shows the positions of the planets as the sun rises. Sorry, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter are so close together they are indistinguishable on the sky chart. They can be seen better in an enlarged section of sky chart shown below. Mars is slightly to the north, but as it is dimmer than the other three planets it may not be visible in the morning twilight. (Note: The sun and planets are not drawn to scale)

The three planets will be almost in a line, with Jupiter the highest and most northerly and Mercury the lowest and most southerly. Venus will be between Jupiter and Mercury. Uranus, Ceres, Neptune and Vesta will not be visible to the naked eye.

This promises to be the best planetary conjunction of 2011.

 
Enlarged section
of Sky Chart
Conjunction Details
 
WARNING: The Sun will be very close to these planets and will rise shortly after. Do not look at the sun through a telescope, binoculars or other optical instrument, you may go blind!