Deceptive closeness: astrophotographer explains the paradox of the convergence of Venus and Jupiter

Dmytro IvancheskulLife
Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter in 2023

The impressive convergence of Jupiter and Venus that has been observed in recent days, including by Ukrainians, is actually a vivid example of how vast our solar system is. After all, the fact is that there was no convergence as such - it was just a paradox that arose due to the location of the Earth-based observers.

Andrew McCarthy, an astrophotographer from the United States, spoke about how things would have looked if Jupiter and Venus had come closer in the starry sky. He also showed his own photo of the astronomical event. Even this photo clearly shows how far away this rapprochement was (to see the photo, scroll down to the end of the news).

"Venus and Jupiter: the illusion of proximity," McCarthy wrote on the photo.

He explained that if Jupiter were really close to Venus and orbited at the same distance as the second planet from the Sun, earthlings could see its satellites with the naked eye.

"And the planet itself (in the night sky - Ed.) would be close to half the width of the full Moon," the astrophotographer explained.

It should be noted that this would certainly be quite a sight, given the gigantic size of the planet (Jupiter is 11 times larger than Venus) and the 92 satellites orbiting it. But such an approach would likely wreak havoc on planet Earth, affecting tides and changing its orbit.

The solar system would probably also undergo critical changes, as a change in Jupiter's position would lead to a change in the orbits of most planets.

Jupiter is known to be a gas giant 318 times more massive than the Earth, so it would only be a matter of time before it would fall into its gravitational "embrace".

In addition, Jupiter, as the largest planet in the Solar System, is its protector, as it is in its gravitational trap that various asteroids and other space objects fall, which, if not for Jupiter, would be much more likely to pose a threat to the Earth and other planets.

In pure numbers, the distance from Jupiter to the Earth is over 865 million km. Venus is more than 203 million km away. So, as the saying goes, do the math.

The convergence of Venus and Jupiter.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL also told about an "alien" photo of the Earth taken from the ISS. It was published by a NASA astronaut.

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