Earth, Venus and the sun form row this month


By Catherine J. Teves


MANILA, March 16 (PNA) — The sun, Venus and Earth will line up in a straight row this month, staging anew the celestial event called “conjunction”.

An inferior conjunction will happen on Saturday (March 25) as Venus will be between Earth and the sun at 6 p.m. (Philippine Standard Time) that day, noted astronomy section chief Dario dela Cruz from Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

“Earth and Venus will be on the same side of the sun during that conjunction,” he said.

Venus will be in superior conjunction if this planet and Earth are on opposite sides of the sun when these three bodies line up in a straight row.

Such position of Venus amid the sun’s glare make it difficult for observers on Earth to view this planet during conjunctions.

According to Dario, Venus will be almost on the horizon already during the inferior conjunction this month.

“It’ll be difficult to view Venus then,” he said.

He said Venus will eventually disappear from view in the western sky amid the sun’s waning glare but can be seen again around dawn in the eastern sky the following day.

Dario said conjunctions have no effect on the country’s weather.

Neither do such events bring bad luck, he continued.

“Conjunctions are normal celestial events as planets line up from time to time while orbiting the sun,” he said.

Experts said Venus makes its closest approach to Earth during an inferior conjunction, averagingĀ a distance of about 41 million km.

Such distance can get as close as 38 million km but this happens rarely, they noted.

They estimated Venus’ next inferior conjunction to be on Oct. 26, 2018.


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