Here’s how to spot the rare conjunction of Jupiter, Mercury and Saturn in the sky tonight

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In December many took a moment to spot the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – If you got a kick out of watching Jupiter and Saturn cozy up last month in what some called the “Christmas Star” may want to look outside this weekend a little after sundown.

From Jan. 9-12, Jupiter and Saturn will be joined by Mercury in the southwestern sky.

The celestial event is known as a “triple conjunction,” which means three planets appear to meet each other in the sky for a short period of time. In reality, they are millions of miles apart. The formation of the planetary triangle is rare, but not as infrequent as the closer grand conjunction we saw last week, according to the Weather Channel.

Shortly after sunset on Jan. 9, look above the southwestern horizon and you will see Mercury to the left of Saturn and Jupiter positioned just above Saturn. The window to see the conjunction will be short.

“From Friday evening to Monday evening, the planet Mercury will appear to pass first by Saturn and then by Jupiter as it shifts away from the horizon, visible each evening low in the west-southwest and setting before evening twilight ends,” NASA wrote on its website.

The southwestern sky is where the sun sets this time of year, so following the path of the sunset will point you in the right direction. The reflected light from the planets should make them appear brighter than surrounding stars.

According to, all three planets will fit within the field of view of binoculars. “Mercury and Saturn will be a challenge to see within the evening twilight – except for skywatchers at southerly latitudes, where the sky will darken faster.”

Viewers should find an unobstructed view of the horizon and begin stargazing no later than 45 minutes after sundown.

The planets will form a triple conjunction again on Feb. 13, according to NASA.

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