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In Pictures: When Venus and Jupiter almost collided

Venus and Jupiters - the two planets, were in reality millions of miles apart, but to stargazers from Earth, they appeared close to colliding

Monday May 2, 2022 1:03 PM, Zohair M Safwan Faizee, ummid.com

Venus Jupiter Conjunction

[Venus Jupiter Conjunction as seen in Malegaon on Sunday 29th Ramadan 1443 AH corresponding to May 01, 2022. (Image: Architect Athar Shazan Faizee for ummid.com)]

Malegaon: Stargazers in Malegaon Sunday woke up to a unique and probably once in life time astral vista when they saw Venus and Jupiter approaching to each other as if they will collide any moment.

It was 29th of Ramadan 1443 AH corresponding to May 01, 2022 and worshippers in Malegaon had just finished the morning Fajr salah after having Suhur – the pre-dawn meal, to begin the day-long fast.

“Hey.. Look there.. Are the two starts colliding?” Ar Athar Faizee screamed, called others coming out of the mosque and pointed at the sky.

Venus Jupiter

[Venus and Jupiter as seen on Monday 30th of Ramadan corresponding to May 02, 2022. (Image Zohair Mohammed Safwan Faizee/ummid.com)]

Over the sky were two stars – one bright and bigger in size, and the other a bit smaller. They were approaching towards each other and it appeared to the watchers as if the two would collide or touch each other any moment.

They did not. But they provided the stargazers a chance to witness a unique celestial event that will remain in their memory for years to come.

Venus Jupiter Conjunction

Venus Jupiter

Later analysis by Athar Shazan Faizee, an Architect by profession but a keen stargazer, and details shared with ummid.com revealed that the “two stars” that appeared approaching each other Sunday May 01, 2022 were actually Venus and Jupiter – two planets of our Solar System.

It was the planetary conjunction that happens annually. A conjunction is when two planets appear close together or even touching in the Earth's night sky. But on Sunday, Venus and Jupiter appeared much closer than usual.

The two planets were in reality millions of miles apart, but to stargazers from Earth, they appeared close to colliding. The same spectacle won't occur again like this until 2039.

Venus Jupiter Comjunction

The Venus and Jupiter Conjunction Sunday was visible with naked eyes and enthralled millions around the world, including those in Malegaon.

However, the distant Neptune, which appeared like a pale blue dot, was also seen by excited visitors through Celestron telescope at some observatories where special arrangement was made for the event.

Venus Jupiter Touching

Venus appeared to follow the Sun around the sky as seen from Earth since Venus is an inner planet. Jupiter on the other hand, is an outer planet that moves around the Sun slowly. As a result of the Earth’s motion around the Sun, Jupiter appears to circle the sky relative to the Sun roughly once a year as viewed from Earth, and so will pass by Venus which is always somewhere in the vicinity of the Sun, annually.

“Hence Venus and Jupiter typically have one conjunction (lining up as seen from Earth) each year, but this time it was the closest”, said Satish Nayak, President of the Association of Friends of Astronomy (AFA).


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