ORLANDO, Fla. – Skywatchers will want to set their alarms for this one as the largest planet in our solar system hangs out with the smallest.
Similar to the Great Conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in December, Jupiter and Mercury will form a conjunction of their own before sunrise Friday. A conjunction occurs when two objects in space get close together from Earth’s perspective.
“It will be neat to see the largest and smallest planet get close in our sky,” said Seth Mayo, curator of astronomy at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach.
Mercury is typically difficult to see in the sky due to its proximity to the sun and its size. It will be relatively easier to locate Friday morning by finding the larger, brighter Jupiter. Mercury will be to the left and slightly above Jupiter.
Saturn will hang out high in the sky far removed from the conjunction.
Jupiter and Mercury will rise above the eastern horizon around 5:30 a.m. Friday and gradually get higher in the sky.
The window to view the planets will be short as the sun rises a little more than an hour later.