1 Jul 2015

When Jupiter met Venus over NZ

12:15 am on 1 July 2015

Stargazers in the South Island were treated to a glimpse of Jupiter's moons tonight.

Veuns and Jupiter set over Port Chalmers on 30 June 2015.

Venus and Jupiter set over Port Chalmers on 30 June 2015. Photo: Twitter / @iangriffin

The phenomenon occurred because Jupiter and Venus orbited within two degrees of each other, on the same side of the sun.

It meant the two planets were the brightest objects in the sky after the sun and the moon.

The next time this will occur will be August 2016 but only to some areas of the globe.

The planets' movements followed another rare astronomical event this morning - a stellar occultation, in which Pluto passed briefly in front of a bright star.

Astronomers came from around the world to take advantage of the unusually clear view of the planet from sites throughout New Zealand.

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