Three of the Milky Way’s most famous celestial bodies are getting together tonight. The moon, Jupiter and Saturn are all usually quite easy to find on their own –especially the moon – but this evening they’ll align in a close, bright, easy-to-spot diagonal.
“So Jupiter will be in the top left, and then you’ll get Saturn, and then you’ll get the moon,” says Clare Kenyon, an astrophysicist at the University of Melbourne. “Jupiter and Saturn will be the brightest things you can see near the moon. And actually, if you’ve got binoculars – good ones – you could potentially see some of the moons of Jupiter.”
Kenyon says the best time to have a look for the alignment is around 7.20pm AEST, although it will become visible as soon as it gets dark, and can be seen from anywhere in the country tonight. (If you’re unsure what you’re looking at but it’s twinkling, it’s a pretty safe bet that’s a star, not a planet.)
Because of Jupiter and Saturn’s long respective orbits around the sun, this convergence is uncommon. “They’re not together in the sky that often,” says Kenyon. “It’s not super important, but it’s beautiful and it’s something everyone can access.”