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Joy for Sydney star-gazers

15 July 2015 by News Desk

night-skyResidents of Sydney in Australia got the best view of a rare celestial conjunction this week.

The rare event made Venus and Jupiter drift closer together and made the International Space Station appear close to Jupiter and Venus in the night sky. The spectacle appeared in the north-west sky for about six minutes. It was visible across most parts of eastern Australia including Adelaide but Sydney residents had the best view.

Because the space station is only 400 kilometres up in low earth orbit any change in position underneath that path will affect how it is seen against the planets. Although 670 million kilometres apart, the two planets looked from earth to be side by side, thrilling stargazing fans across the world.

This is the first time the space station has appeared to be so close to the two planets.

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