Venus, Mars and crescent moon to align in 'planetary conjunction' during 12-13 July

A special week is ahead for sky gazers and astronomy enthusiasts as two of Earth’s immediate neighbours - Venus and Mars will be coming close to one another in the coming days. This celestial event is being termed as ‘planetary conjunction’ because it will be easily visible to the naked eye.

Being observable only from Earth, a ‘planetary conjunction’ occurs when two planets come closest to each other on a specific day even though they remain far away from one another.

Venus, Mars and moon planetary conjunction. Image credit: Abigail Banerji/Tech2

Informing people about the event on social media, the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) shared a post revealing details. “Mars and Venus are passing close to each other in the sky and will be only 0.5 degrees (as wide as the size of the Moon) on 13 July,” a tweet from the official handle reads.

Further in the post, the IIA informed that the moon will also be close to Venus and Mars on 12 July. The institute had asked sky gazers to go out and witness the event every evening from today, 8 July.

This amazing sight will be only visible in the western sky or horizon under clear sky conditions after sunset.

As the meeting of these celestial objects is a big occurrence in the sky, astronomy enthusiasts can commence observing the sky from Thursday (8 July) and continue till Tuesday (13 July). People who continue watching it after the event will also be able to see the departure of these planets. Any ordinary binoculars will show Venus and Mars at their closest.

Meanwhile, the Pune-based Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and the IIA, located in Bengaluru have invited photograph entries of the event. Candidates who are interested can send their photos or sketches to The best among them will be published by the institutes online.

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