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  • March 25, 2019

Planets visible to the naked eye - March 25, 2019

  • Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan
Photo: Sophie Desrosiers

From March 25 to April 8, 2019

Mercury is in the midst of a poor morning apparition. The tiny planet is too low on the horizon and too faint to be visible in the glow of sunrise.

Venus, the dazzling Morning Star, appears lower and lower in the east-southeast at dawn. It emerges above the horizon about one hour before sunrise; 30 minutes before sunrise, it stands only about 5 degrees high. On the morning of April 1, the thin lunar crescent lies about 10 degrees to the right of the Morning Star.

Mars is still receding from Earth and slowly fading. Despite this, the Red Planet remains an easily identifiable object: it appears at dusk about 35 degrees high in the west, and sets in the west-northwest after 11:30 p.m. Mars moves rapidly with respect to the background stars and constellations: during the last evenings in March, the Red Planet passes about 3 degrees below the Pleiades star cluster; then, around April 4, it makes its way between the Pleiades and Hyades clusters. On the evening of April 8, the waxing crescent moon hangs 7 degrees below the Red Planet, with the two star clusters on either side.

Jupiter is very bright and easy to see in the south-southeast at the end of the night and at dawn. The Giant Planet rises in the southeast after 1:30 a.m. and gradually climbs in the sky, culminating some 20 degrees in the south at dawn. On the morning of March 27, the waning gibbous Moon hangs less than 4 degrees to the left of Jupiter.

Saturn is visible at the end of the night and at dawn. The Ringed Planet emerges in the southeast after 3:30 a.m.; by the time the horizon begins to take on some colours (about one hour before sunrise) we find Saturn some 15 degrees high. On the morning of March 29, the crescent moon shines 3 degrees to the lower left of Saturn.

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