A COSMIC SMILE WILL APPEAR IN THE SKY IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS

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Lost the total lunar eclipse this Monday ( 21 )? Do not worry, a phenomenon as beautiful as the eclipsed moon could be observed in the coming days. If you wake up early or sleep later, you may have noticed that two very bright stars are born on the horizon near dawn. They are - Venus and Jupiter - together with our Moon that will form the conjunction.

In astronomy, the term planetary conjunction is given to the moment when stars are close to each other in the sky of the Earth. The configuration formed by Venus, Jupiter and the Moon will resemble a smiling face depending on the perspective you observe the phenomenon.

Venus is the brightest planet of the conjunction and will appear in the lowest position in the sky. The Moon, on the other hand, will be visible a little higher up in the waning phase and dimly lit by the Sun. Jupiter will be at the highest elevation, with a lower brightness than Venus. Due to a psychological phenomenon called "pareidolia ", where we find faces in random things, our brain can represent the planets as “eyes” and the Moon as a “smiling mouth ".

 

Simulation of the phenomena in the Stellarium.

The event will be happening on the 31st of January and will be perfectly visible from all over Brazil. The stars must appear in the sky at dawn on the last day of the month at 4am (Brasilia time). Many people may not resemble this "cosmic smile", but it is a very beautiful and interesting phenomenon to observe.

Good heavens!

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Astronomy

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