Waking up early on a Monday morning isn't easy, especially as the temperatures drop, but there's reason to get out of bed before daybreak this Monday, November 13. That's when Venus and Jupiter will appear extra close in the sky, reaching what's known as conjunction for the first time since August 2016.
A conjunction, when two or more planets or star clusters share the same right ascension in the sky and look very near each other, is not an uncommon celestial occurrence. However, according to EarthSky, some conjunctions are far better spectacles than others. The joining of Jupiter with Venus is one of them: Both planets will appear extra bright and, in full darkness, should be clearly visible from the northern hemisphere. Space.com even predicts their collective brightness could lead some people to report it as a UFO sighting. It might be worth giving friends a head's up beforehand: There's no Arrival happening here.
The two planets will rise within minutes of each other and, for the best views, you'll want to look for them just before sunrise. (Hence, the extra early wakeup call.) You'll be able to see them coming closer together the morning of Sunday, November 12, though the distance between them will widen by the Tuesday after, November 14. Space.com advises looking towards the constellation Virgo, located to the west of the moon, if you're having trouble locating them in the sky.
As close as Venus and Jupiter appear from Earth, they're not actually that close in the sky itself — Jupiter is some 200 million of miles farther from Earth than Venus. Still, the sight of one planet cozying up to the other is worth waking up a bit early for. Just be sure that you cozy up in a fleecy onesie yourself — it's getting chilly out there.