Mercury, Venus, and the Moon Will All Align This Week
There's nothing like stargazing on a clear night. This week, you could have the rare opportunity to see Mercury, Venus, and the Moon align for a one-of-a-kind dance in the sky, according to Forbes. While planets are constantly changing and shifting, this week is particularly special. Venus, which is the second brightest object in the sky besides the Moon, is preparing to shift between Earth and the sun now through June 3rd, according to EarthSky.org.
On the nights of May 21st and May 22nd, Mercury will pass within 0.1° south of Venus. To find Mercury, head out at sunset and peer west, keeping an eye out for the bright light of Venus. "Next, draw a line with your mind's eye between Venus and the sunset point. Mercury will be along that line, below Venus, near the sunset point," according to Gaston Gazette. The two planets will sync overnight and stand just 0.9° apart at 4 a.m EST on the 22nd.
Mercury should be particularly easy to view, whereas the crescent shape of Venus will need to be seen through binoculars. It forms its crescent shape when it is directly between the Earth and the Sun. By the time it completes its pass on June 3rd, it will be 27 million miles away. May 21st will also be one of your last chances to see Venus clearly, as it will continue to disappear from view earlier and earlier each night.
Mercury, on the other hand, will climb even higher. It continues its ascent until June 4th, but its brush with Venus and the Moon is your best chance to spot it.