With temperatures dropping and winter well set in over much of the Northern Hemisphere, we wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t fancy sitting outside for an evening of stargazing. However, it would be a shame to miss astronomical events like the close conjunction of Venus and Saturn in the sky tonight.
Fortunately, there’s an online livestream of the event so you can enjoy the sights while staying snug and warm at home. We’ve got the details on how to watch below.
A conjunction is when two or more bodies appear close to each other in the sky, and tonight, Sunday January 22, there will be a conjunction between Venus and Saturn. As space.com points out, because Venus is much closer to us and to the sun than Saturn is, it will appear much brighter. But with a telescope, it will be possible to see Saturn as well, even though it will be 100 times fainter than Venus.
The two planets will be close to each other in the night sky for several days, but they will reach their closest proximity tonight. If you do fancy braving the cold to appreciate the view, then Sky and Telescope advises using binoculars or a telescope and looking during twilight, when the two planets should be visible above the thin crescent of the moon.
To see when the conjunction will be visible from your time zone, you can use the online tool at In The Sky.
To watch the conjunction from the warmth of home, you can tune in to the livestream provided by the Virtual Telescope Project. This project uses data from robotic telescopes that is streamed for free to the public to allow a broader range of people to enjoy views of the night sky.
The stream of the conjunction begins at 1:30 p.m. ET (10:30 a.m. PT) on Sunday, January 22. You can watch the stream either by heading to the project’s YouTube channel or by using the video embedded near the top of this page.