Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon Are All Aligning Side by Side This Weekend—What Does It Mean?!

This is SO EXCITING.

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Watch out, starry-night superfans, because we are in for a BIG weekend involving three of our favorite celestial bodies: Jupiter, Saturn, and, of course, the moon. Starting this Friday, August 9, you'll be able to see these three illuminated spherical masses in space all align side by side across the sky through Sunday, August 11.

But why does this happen? According to EarthSky, August is the month in which Jupiter and Saturn tend to really pop in the sky. Jupiter—the second-brightest planet, after Venus—and Saturn both had their yearly opposition earlier this summer. EarthSky says that "opposition for an outer planet happens when the sun and that planet are exactly 180 degrees apart in the sky." It also marks the middle of prime viewing time of that particular planet in the sky from Earth.

Basically, this week is the week that both Jupiter and Saturn can be seen extremely well in our night sky, and their paths are aligning. Both of the planet's schedules are also lining up with our moon's—a nearly full waxing gibbous moon will swing by both planets from August 9–11. On Sunday night, Saturn will crawl even closer to the that almost-full moon, making it easier to spot in the night sky.

If you're in the right spot in either eastern Australia or northern New Zealand, you can actually watch the moon cover Saturn—also called "occult"—for a portion of the night on August 11.

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