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Planets visible to the naked eye

  • Photo: Sophie Desrosiers
    Planets visible to the naked eye

    From October 19 to November 2, 2020

    Mercury is now too close to the Sun and is not visible. The tiny planet passes between Earth and the Sun (inferior conjunction) on October 25, folowing which it will emerge in the morning sky for a splendid apparition in November.

    Venus is the dazzling Morning Star that shines brightly in the east after 4:30 a.m. and until sunrise, reaching about 30 degrees above the horizon at dawn. The thin, waning lunar crescent will appear a few degrees from Venus on the mornings of November 12 and 13.

    Mars was at opposition on October 13. The very bright Red Planet is currently visible all night: It appears low in the east at dusk, culminates about 50 degrees high in the south around 11:30 p.m., and sinks below the western horizon before dawn. During the evening of October 29, the waxing gibbous Moon shines about 4 degree below Mars.

    Jupiter appears during evening twilight some 22 degrees above the southern horizon. The bright Giant Planet sets in the southwest after 10:00 p.m. Note the presence of Saturn, a few degrees to its left. During the evening of October 22, the crescent Moon shines about 4 degrees below Jupiter and Saturn, drawing a remarkable triangle with the two planets.

    Saturn appears in the south during evening twilight, about 23 degrees above the horizon, and just a few degrees to the left of bright Jupiter. The Ringed Planet sets in the southwest after 10:30 p.m. During the evening of October 22, the crescent Moon shines about 4 degrees below Jupiter and Saturn, drawing a remarkable triangle with the two planets.

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