Rare Jupiter and Venus pairing to be seen before dawn Monday morning

Mostly cloudy skies may keep locals from viewing conjunction of planets


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – According to NASA, Jupiter and Venus will appear as a “close pairing” early Monday before the sun rises. The phenomenon last occurred in 2016 and the year before.  

If you’d like to see the largest planet next to the bright love planet, you’ll need to wake up early before sunset. NASA says you’ll need to look low at the east-southeast horizon about 45 minutes before sunrise. Locally sunrise is at 6:51 a.m., so the optimum time is 6:05 a.m. However, mostly cloudy skies will likely block the view Monday morning in Northeast Florida. 

Be advised that it is dangerous to aim your binoculars directly at the sun and don't look at the approaching sunrise with your unaided eyes or telescopes.

According to Space.com, Venus and Jupiter will rise together in the morning sky, only a few hours after the planets reach "conjunction" at 1:05 a.m. Eastern Time. 

“Conjunctions occur when two planets share the same right ascension, the east-west longitude in the sky as measured from an observer on Earth. Since the major planets all orbit the sun in nearly the same plane, from the point of view of the Earth, they travel in paths across the sky that are roughly similar.” –Space.com

This video explains more about the conjunction concept.