Stargazers have another great reason to look up to the sky. This time its Jupiter, which connects to two of the solar system’s the brightest stars – Arcturus and Spica. The planet forms an isosceles triangle, dubbed the “Jupiter Triangle,” with the two stars all this month. The triangle has been named so as Jupiter, which is the largest planet in the solar system, is the brightest of the three points.
The Jupiter triangle is expected to last for a couple of months, though it will slowly change shape as the planet moves in retrograde. Arcturus is located at 36.7 light-years from the Earth. It is the fourth brightest star in the night sky. Spira, on the other hand, is actually a binary system made of two stars. It looks like a single star when viewed from Earth because it is located 260 light-years away.
“The Jupiter Triangle will be in a constant state of flux in the coming weeks because Jupiter will have been slowly shifting its position against the background stars,” the report from Space.com read.
Although the triangle remains visible throughout the night, the best time to spot it starts at 11 p.m. ET. It is facing east-southeast this week, and the full moon will pass across the lower half of the triangle on April 28 and April 29.
People will need to special equipment to see the Jupiter Triangle as they will easily be able to spot celestial formation with naked eyes. Of course, binoculars and a telescope will of great help. The Jupiter triangle will be seen in the night sky until about the middle or end of September.
The famous “Summer Triangle,” which is composed of the stars– Altair, Deneb, and Vega –will also return this year. Altair, Deneb, and Vega are the brightest stars in the three constellations of Aquila, Cygnus, and Lyra, respectively.