If you look up into the night sky at 2.17 am UK time tonight (well, early on Tuesday morning) you’ll get to see a race of truly universal proportions.
Jupiter and venus are racing around the sun. Kind of. For about a week now, you may have noticed what look like a couple of particularly bright stars in the sky. They are in fact the pair of planets who are going head-to-head.
At just turned two in the morning, the couple will line up, with Venus matching up with Jupiter, the former having a much shorter orbit as it’s closer to the sun.
Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, told the NY Times that the ideal place for seeing the planets, which will be about a thumbs width apart from our perspective here on Earth, is somewhere open and dark, although absolute darkness is not required to grab a glimpse of the almighty race.
The planets will be traveling at quite a pace, with Jupiter going at about eight miles a second, and the younger, more reckless Venus charging it at 22 miles a second.
But, before you get on the phone to the bookies, Dr Faherty added “You’re not going to watch them speed past; it’s a slow-moving process”, the kill-joy.