Viewing Charts for the 2013 Triple Planetary Alignment

A spectacular series of planetary alignments will be visible at evening twilight during the last two weeks of May 2013. Brilliant Jupiter and Venus will dominate the grouping while fainter Mercury rounds out the trio. The highlight of the alignment occurs on the evening of May 26 when the three planets appear within 3° of each other (apparent size of a US quarter coin held at arm's length).

The diagrams below are computer simulations (using SkySafari Pro) depicting the daily positions of Jupiter, Venus and Mercury in the evening sky about 40 minutes after sunset for the period May 18 through June 7, 2013. The field of view of each diagram is about 21° x 23°. If you hold your hand out at arm's length (as if to block the Sun), it will cover about the same amount of sky as seen in the diagrams.

The simulations were performed for a location in the south eastern United States (109° West longitude, 32° North latitude), but the appearance is similar throughout the USA.

The approximate distances of the planets during the triple alignment are:

                                       Mercury - 169 million kilometers (= 105 million miles or 1.13 AU)
                                       Venus   - 245 million kilometers (= 152 million miles or 1.64 AU)
                                       Jupiter - 908 million kilometers (= 564 million miles or 6.07 AU)
Venus appears the brightest planet (magnitude -3.9), while Jupiter is second brightest (magnitude -1.9) and Mercury is third (magnitude -0.7).

For more information, see 2013 Triple Planetary Alignment.

Click on each diagram to see a larger version.



Viewing Charts for the 2013 Triple Planetary Alignment

Triple Alignment
Triple Alignment
May 18

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May 19

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May 20

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May 21

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May 22

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May 23

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May 24

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May 25

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May 26

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May 27

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May 28

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May 29

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May 30

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May 31

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June 01

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June 02

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June 03

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June 04

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June 05

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June 06

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June 07




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