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Planets visible to the naked eye

  • Photo: Sophie Desrosiers
    Planets visible to the naked eye

    From October 18 to November 1, 2021

    Mercury gradually reappears in the morning sky after passing between Earth and the Sun (inferior conjunction) on October 9. This is its best morning apparition in 2021. Until the first week in November, look for the tiny planet low on the eastern horizon, one hour before sunrise: Mercury brightens with each passing day and becomes easy to spot in the colours of dawn. On the morning of November 3, the thin crescent Moon will be suspended just 3 ½ degrees above Mercure.

    Venus is the bright Evening Star that shines low in the south-southwest, 20 minutes after sunset; Venus itself sets almost two hours after the Sun. On the evening of November 7, the thin crescent moon shines 4 ½ degrees to the right the Evening Star.

    Mars is too close to the Sun and is not visible. The Red Planet passed behind the Sun (conjunction) on October 8, and will reappear gradually in the morning sky in late November.

    Jupiter appears after sunset in the southeast. Around 8 p.m., the Giant Planet shines brightly about 29 degrees high in the south, and vanishes below the west-southwest horizon around 1 a.m. The first quarter Moon shines 5 degrees to the lower left of Jupiter on the evening of November 11.

    Saturn appears at dusk in the south-southeast, about 15 degrees to the right of very bright Jupiter. The Ringed Planet culminates around 7 p.m., 25 degrees high in the south, and sets around midnight in the west-southwest. The waxing crescent Moon lies 6 degrees to the lower left of Saturn on the evening of November 10.

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