On and around Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2022, sky watchers on Earth will have the opportunity to see Venus moving next to the bright star Regulus.
The conjunction of the brightest planet in the night sky, VenusThe brightest star in the constellation Leo, Regulusfrom September 4 through September 5 and will be visible in the east just before sunrise.
This period is also significant for Venus as the second planet of the sun It will be at its closest point in its 225-day orbit from our star, known as perihelion.
Because the planet’s orbit is close to circular, there isn’t much difference between perihelion and apogee – the farthest point in its orbit from the Sun – with only a 1.5% difference.
Venus will be in constellation leo In the eastern and northeastern sky at this point, low in the sky around sunrise on these three days.
While clear skies should be enough to see Venus — which will move toward the glare of the Sun — sky watchers may at least need to break out binoculars to see Regulus, which will itself be upward in the sky.
Venus will pass within 0.8 degrees of Regulus with objects in the sky separated by a distance similar to the diameter the moon.
Although Venus and Regulus – also known as Alpha Liones – will be as close to each other in the night sky as viewed from Earth, they are actually not that close.
While Venus averages about 12 to 13 light minutes from a land, Regulus is a bright main sequence or hydrogen-burning star located 80 light-years from the Solar System. But while it’s nowhere near a partnership with Venus, Regulus isn’t lacking in company.
Regulus, estimated to be about three times the mass of the Sun, was once considered a single star but is now known to be part of a Binary system.
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Regulus’ companion is thought to be a star just about one-third the mass of the Sun. This core, which was separated from its outer layers when it ran out of hydrogen for nuclear fusion and could no longer support itself against gravitational collapse, would eventually become white dwarf star.
Although incredibly hot with high temperatures approaching 35,500 F (9,704 C), this stellar core was even more difficult to detect than its brighter star partner, Regulus.
After the conjunction, Venus will no longer be visible in early September due to the glare of the Sun. By October 22, the planet will pass behind the sun, reappearing before the end of 2022.
You can check out our guides for best binoculars and the The best telescopes To discover Venus and Regulas. If you want to take a good picture of the night sky, check out our guide for moon photographyalong with our recommendations for the best astrophotography cameras And the Best lenses for astrophotography.
Editor’s note: If you take a photo of Venus and/or Regulus and want to share it with Space.com readers, send your photo(s), comments, name, and location to firstname.lastname@example.org.