When two or more planets appear to be close in the sky, as seen from Earth, it is called a conjunction. They are not actually close, just as the stars in the sky are not close, but our vantage point on Earth makes them appear to be in the same area.
The other types on conjunctions occur between Earth and either Mercury or Venus, which are the two planets closer to the Sun than we are. Either of those two planets are said to be in superior conjunction when they are on the same side of the Sun as Earth and are on a line drawn from Earth to the Sun. They are said to be at inferior conjunction when they are on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth and are on a line drawn from Earth through the Sun.
Planetary conjunctions are always fun to see and can be a very useful means of reaching the general public with news about astronomy. Almost every year has a few interesting conjunctions
If you have a pair of binoculars, then its worth taking a look, especially when Jupiter and Saturn are close together. You should be able to see four of Jupiter's moons (Ganymede, Callistio, Io and Europa) and possibly the ring of Saturn.
Don't miss these opportunities for some great views of beautiful conjunctions!
Conjunctions of Planets in 2019
The list below presents instances when two planets reach the same right ascension during 2019.
|Date||Time UTC||Planet||Angle distance||Planet||Elongation to Sun|
|January 13, 2019||10:48:09||Mercury||1°43'||Saturn||10.1° West|
|January 22, 2019||05:47:42||Venus||2°26'||Jupiter||45.9° West|
|February 13, 2019||20:06:54||Mars||1°03'||Uranus||64.4° East|
|February 18, 2019||13:54:15||Venus||1°05'||Saturn||42.7° West|
|February 19, 2019||11:09:52||Mercury||46'||Neptune||15.1° East|
|March 22, 2019||06:18:30||Mercury||3°24'||Neptune||13.5° West|
|April 2, 2019||18:54:11||Mercury||23'||Neptune||25.5° West|
|April 10, 2019||03:52:24||Venus||18'||Neptune||32.6° West|
|May 8, 2019||08:12:50||Mercury||1°23'||Uranus||14.1° West|
|May 18, 2019||08:12:13||Venus||1°09'||Uranus||23.2° West|
|June 19, 2019||14:34:40||Mercury||14'||Mars||24.4° East|
|July 7, 2019||13:33:33||Mercury||3°50'||Mars||18.4° East|
|July 24, 2019||10:32:05||Mercury||5°43'||Venus||5.8° West|
|August 24, 2019||12:34:05||Venus||19'||Mars||3.1° East|
|September 3, 2019||10:44:25||Mercury||42'||Mars||1.1° West|
|September 13, 2019||21:35:21||Mercury||20'||Venus||8.5° East|
|October 30, 2019||08:29:03||Mercury||2°43'||Venus||20.3° East|
|November 24, 2019||14:00:35||Venus||1°24'||Jupiter||26.2° East|
|December 11, 2019||04:42:34||Venus||1°49'||Saturn||30° East|