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HomeQatar TimesQatar's skies to witness Saturn and Mercury's meeting

Qatar’s skies to witness Saturn and Mercury’s meeting

The Qatar Calendar House announced that Saturn and Mercury will be meeting for a conjunction in the early hours of Wednesday.

Stargazers in Qatar and countries of the region will be able to see and monitor the two planets tomorrow above the eastern horizon with the naked eye or using astronomical devices.

Mercury will be at an angular distance of 0.7 degrees of arc from the centre of Saturn.

The conjunction will happen on Wednesday morning at 4:50am, Doha local time. The window to catch this unique astrological wonder will last for approximately an hour, until 5:56am, right before sunrise.

The best spots to monitor this phenomenon are remote places without light and environmental pollutants. Stargazers in Qatar often recommend Zekreet, Fuwairit beach and Khor Al-Udaid.

Mercury is one of the solar system’s rocky planets, and closest to the sun, with an average distance of 58 million km between it and the sun. Alongside Venus, both planets are distinguished from others in that they can be seen from the surface of the earth at various instances in their orbit.

Saturn, on the other hand, is a gas-based planet and the second largest in the solar system after Jupiter. Eighty one moons revolve around it, rendering it the planet with the most moons in the solar system.

Mercury reached its closest point to Venus on 29th December last year.

This astronomical phenomenon’s importance lies in the fact that it gives residents the chance to monitor and photograph the conjunction. It is also a chance for them to confirm the accuracy of the astronomical calculations of celestial body orbits.

Conjunctions of the fast-moving inner planets can occur as regularly as every few months. However, groupings of slower outer planets such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune can occur far less often, but last longer when they do.

If you miss this sighting on Wednesday, you’ll be able to catch another conjunction later this month on 21st Match, as Mercury reaches its closest point to Jupiter.

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