Three bright planets came together today for one of the closest conjunctions in decades. Mercury, Mars and Jupiter were so close in the dawn sky that a thumb could cover them. They could all be found within an area of sky a degree across – only twice the width of the Moon.
Mercury and Jupiter were especially close, though really separated by a vast distance in space. Both appeared bright enough to be seen with the naked eye in the pre-dawn sky. Mars is fainter and a lot more difficult to see.
Experts say there will not be another gathering of three bright planets as close until at least 2030.