May 23, 2013 9:48 am
Updated: May 23, 2013 10:40 am

Planets put on a beautiful dance this week

The planets Jupiter, Mercury and Venus for a beautiful conjunction on May 26, 2013.

NASA
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If you happen to have clear skies over the next few days, take a look to the west and you might notice a few “stars” moving night after night.

But those aren’t stars. They’re planets.

On May 26, Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury will form a tight triangle low in the west. But over the next few days, you can witness them as they get closer.

A triple conjunction like this is rare. The last time it happened was in May 2011. The next time? October 2015.

Even if you don’t know the night sky, don’t fret: it’s easy to spot the three planets. The key is locating Venus.

Venus is the brightest planet in our night sky. It’s so bright that it will show itself before any other stars or planets. Look to the west at twilight and you’ll see Venus emerge.

You can even use binoculars to get in close. In fact, on Thursday night, Jupiter and Venus will be close enough to see together in binoculars.

And don’t worry: even if you’re in a city, you should be able to spot the conjunction as it involves three of the brightest planets in our solar system. The key is just finding somewhere with an unobstructed view to the west.

© 2013 Shaw Media

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