The new moon will be closest to Earth on Saturday since the year 992, and the next day, there will be a naked-eye conjunction of Venus and Saturn near the moon.
When the sun and moon are in a position known as a conjunction, which is when they have the same celestial longitude, a new moon occurs. Since the lit side of the moon is facing away from Earth during the new phase, no one can see it from that location.
The new moon this month falls on the same day as a perigee, or “supermoon,” in which the full moon is larger than usual since it is also at the closest point in its orbit. This Saturday’s event will coincide with a new moon rather than a full moon, even though the moon will also be at its closest to our planet at that time.
Therefore, during the cosmic event, our natural satellite in space will be totally invisible to us, according to CNET. According to Forbes, astronomer and science communicator Graham Jones at Timeanddate.com noted the unusualness of this weekend’s new moon.
Jones looked into the closest earth-moon distances at the new moon over a 2,000 years period. He discovered three new moons where the distance was less than 356,570 km – in 1030, this weekend and in 2368. That makes Saturday’s new moon the closest since 1030 and the closest in a period of 1,337 years, according to the outlet.
Additionally, the new moon won’t be this close for 345 years. Additionally, Venus and Saturn will be in conjunction the day following the new moon. Both planets would fit in the same field of view of some telescopes and the majority of binoculars. The duo will also be visible without binoculars or with them.
The pair will become visible at about 18:07 (IST) from New Delhi, 16 degrees above the south-western horizon as dusk gives way to night. Then, when they descend towards the horizon, they will set at 19:30, one hour and 39 minutes after the Sun.
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