Explanation: When two planets pass on the night sky, they can usually be seen near each other for a week or more. In the case of this planetary conjunction, Venus and Mars passed within 4 degrees of each other earlier this month. The featured image was taken a few days prior, when Venus was slowing rising in the pre-dawn sky, night by night, while Mars was slowly setting. The image, a four-part mosaic, was captured in Brazil from the small town TeresÃ³polis. Besides Venus and Mars, the morning sky now also includes the more distant planet Saturn. Of course, these conjunctions are only angular -- Venus, Mars, and Saturn continue to orbit the Sun in very different parts of our Solar System. Next week, the angle between Saturn and Mars will drop to below a quarter of a degree.
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