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Planets visible to the naked eye

  • Photo: Sophie Desrosiers
    Planets visible to the naked eye

    From October 7 to 21, 2019

    Mercury is in the midst of a poor evening apparition. Using binoculars, look for the tiny planet by scanning the west-southwest horizon, about 20 minutes after sunset. Mercury is difficult to pick out against the bright sky. Much brighter Venus shines about 7 degrees to its right.

    Venus is reappearing gradually in the evening sky. Search for the bright planet by scanning the west-southwest horizon with binoculars, 20 minutes after sunset. On October 29 at dusk, the thin crescent moon will hang just 4 degrees above Venus.

    Mars gradually reappears in the dawn sky. Look due east for the Red Planet, just above the horizon, 45 minutes before sunrise. It appears higher and becomes easier to see with each passing day, as it pulls away from the glare of the Sun. On October 26, at dawn, the crescent Moon hangs 6 degrees above the Red Planet.

    Jupiter shines brightly in the southwest during the early evening hours. The Giant Planet appears during twilight, some 15 degrees above the south-southwest horizon, and then descends toward the southwest horizon where it sets around 8:30 p.m. On the evening of October 31, the crescent Moon will shine 4 degrees to the upper left of Jupiter.

    Saturn is also easy to see during the evening. The Ringed Planet appears during twilight 22 degrees high in the south, and sets in the southwest around 10:30 p.m. On the evening of November 1, the lunar crescent lies 5 degrees to the lower right of Saturn. The next evening, November 2, the moon appears 8 degrees to the upper left of the planet.

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