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See Venus and Saturn Come Together in Friday Night’s Sky

The huge storm churning through the atmosphere in Saturn's northern hemisphere overtakes itself as it encircles the planet in this true-color view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
Universal History Archive/Getty Images Saturn in a true-color view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

It's an optical illusion

While Venus and Saturn are millions of miles apart, earthly observers will be able to see the two planets in one telescope view from Friday night to early Saturday morning.

This rare planetary encounter is somewhat of an optical illusion, Space.com reports, because the planets’ movements will make them appear close together and relatively the same size. In reality, Saturn is almost 10 times larger than Venus, but Saturn’s greater distance from Earth makes the two seem similar.

However, Venus will shine so brightly, the naked eye might have a hard time separating the two planets. For the best view, Earthsky.org recommends binoculars or a low-powered telescope.

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