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Planets visible to the naked eye

  • Photo: Marc Jobin
    Planets visible to the naked eye

    Here's a look at the planets that will be observable with the naked eye in the coming days. Follow these guidelines to find out where and when to look for them.

    From February 6 to 20, 2023

    Mercury  is visible at dawn until February 12. The tiny planet appears as a dot of light close to the southeast horizon, 30 minutes before sunrise. Mercury vanishes in the glare of the Sun by mid-month.

    Venus is the dazzling Evening Star that shines in the southwest 30 minutes after sunset. Slightly fainter Jupiter shines to its upper left: Notice how the two brightest planets are closing in on each other with each passing evening.  On February 21 at dusk, the thin lunar crescent hangs 7 degrees below Venus; the following evening, February 22, the Moon appears 1½ degree below Jupiter.

    Mars is receding from Earth but remains very bright at the moment. The Red Planet appears high in the southeast at dusk, culminates around 7:00 p.m., shining brightly almost 70 degrees high in the south, and vanishes below the west-northwest horizon around 2:30 a.m. During the night of February 27 to 28, the waxing gibbous Moon approaches within ⅓ degree of Mars.

    Jupiter appears during twilight about 40 degrees above the southwestern horizon and vanishes in the west around 8:30 p.m. Dazzling Venus shines to its lower right: Notice how the gap between the two brightest planets closes with each passing evening. On the evening of February 22, the thin waxing crescent Moon hangs 1½ degrees to the lower left of the bright Giant Planet.

    Saturn vanishes in the west-southwest  during the first evenings of February, drowned in the glare of sunset. The Ringed Planet passes behind the Sun (conjunction) on February 16 and will reappear in late March in the east-southeast at dawn.

    See also

    Monthly Sky

    The Pocket Planetarium

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