Conjunction is two objects close together on the sky.
Conjunction are of Two types
- superior conjunctions
- inferior conjunctions
A superior conjunction is when an object passes behind the sun from our point of view. Think again of Venus or Mercury. Half of their conjunctions with the Sun – when collected together with the Sun in the dome of our sky – are inferior conjunctions and half are superior conjunctions. It is quite funny to imagine them in an endless loop of passing in front of the sun, seen from the Earth, then behind and behind it, as if we were watching the squirrels running around a tree. Meanwhile, the superior planets – or planets farther from the Sun than Earth, such as Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune – can never be in the inferior conjunction. They can never pass between us and the sun. Therefore, the superior planets only have superior connections.
The inferior conjunction or the lower connection is when an object passes between us and the sun. Any object in space that orbits the Sun closest to Earth’s orbit can occasionally pass through the lower conjunction, if its orbit is more or less close to the ecliptic. Usually, however, when the words “inferior conjunction” are heard, astronomers speak of the planets Venus and Mercury orbiting the Sun in Earth’s orbit. Astronomers sometimes refer to Venus and Mercury as the lower planets. When they are in or near to the lower conjunction, we don’t see them. They are hidden in the sun. Occasionally, however, Venus or Mercury can be seen passing through the solar disk at the lower conjunction. Also consider the moon. Switch between the Earth and the Sun on a new moon once a month. Therefore, it would be fair, if a little strange, to say that the Moon is in inferior conjunction when it is in its new phase.
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