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In the aerospace context, a conjunction refers to the alignment of two or more celestial bodies in the same region of the sky.

This can occur when two planets, for example, are on opposite sides of the sun and therefore appear close to each other in the sky, or when a planet and a moon or a planet and a comet are in close proximity. Conjunction can also refer to the alignment of a spacecraft or satellite with a celestial body, for example, a spacecraft going into orbit around a planet or moon.

Examples of conjunction in aerospace context:

  • In 1991, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft flew by a conjunction of Jupiter and its moon Europa, allowing scientists to study both bodies at the same time.
  • In 2022, Venus and Jupiter will be in a close conjunction, appearing less than 1 degree apart in the night sky.
  • In 2026, Mars and Earth will be in a close conjunction, allowing for a rare opportunity for a spacecraft to be launched from Earth and take advantage of the planets' relative proximity to each other to make the journey to Mars more efficient.
  • In 2040, Saturn and Jupiter will be in conjunction, both planets will be within 1 degree of each other, providing a unique opportunity for scientific study and observations.

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