What is a planetary conjunction? We already know that all planets revolve around the Sun in an elliptical orbit. When two or more planets meet at an angle of 8 degrees, a conjunction takes place.
It’s rare to see a conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn as it takes place every 20 years, its half orbital period. One of the most striking factors of this astronomical event is that the arrangement of planets after sunset, in a conjunction, makes us contemplate an optical illusion of proximity between them.
When will the next planetary conjunction occur?
Conjunction of Venus and Uranus
On March 9, 2020 Venus and Uranus will share the same right ascension, with Venus passing 2° 24' north of Uranus. Both planets will be visible in the night sky in the constellation of Aries around 19:32 CET (Central European Time) as the sunset fades. Later, they will sink towards the horizon.
Conjunction of Jupiter and Mars
According to data from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, on March 20, 2020 there will be a planetary conjunction of Jupiter and Mars; Jupiter will move to 0° 42' north of Mars. As in the other conjunctions, it is best to see this conjunction through a pair of binoculars.
Conjunction of Mars and Pluto
March will be a month full of historic planetary conjunctions. On March 23, 2020 Mars and Pluto will share the same right ascent, with Mars passing 0° 01' south of Pluto 134340. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:15 (CET) - 2 hours and 59 minutes before the Sun - and reaching an altitude of 19° above the southeast horizon before fading away at dawn around 06:36. For those lucky enough to be able to see this conjunction of Mars and the dwarf planet, apart from being able to contemplate the alignment of Mars and Pluto with the naked eye or binoculars, they will also be close enough to fit within the field of vision of a telescope.
Conjunction of Saturn and Mars
On March 31, 2020, Saturn and Mars will make a rapprochement in the sky. From Spain, the two planets will be visible in the dawn sky, from the constellation Capricorn, rising at 04:59 (CET), 3 hours and 2 minutes before the Sun, and reaching an altitude of 21 ° above the southeast horizon before disappearing from our sight at 07:27 with the start of the day. Ideal conjunction to observe it with the naked eye or with binoculars.