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  • November 19, 2018

Planets visible to the naked eye - November 19, 2018

  • Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan
Photo: Sophie Desrosiers

From November 19 to December 3, 2018

Mercury is presently too close to the sun and is not visible. The tiny planet passes between Earth and the sun (inferior conjunction) on November 27, after which it rapidly pulls away from the sun’s glare: it reappears in the dawn sky in December.

Venus is the dazzling Morning Star visible at the end of the night and at dawn. It emerges above the east-southeast horizon about three hours before sunrise; at dawn, it stands about 25 degrees high in the southeast. On the morning of December 3, the thin waning crescent Moon hangs 5 degrees above Venus.

Mars is receding from Earth since its opposition in late July. Although it is slowly fading, the Red Planet remains a conspicuously bright object: it appears in the south-southeast at dusk, culminates around 6:00 p.m. some 35 degrees high in the south, and sets in the west-southwest around 11:30 p.m. During the evening of December 14, the waxing crescent moon approaches within 4 degrees below the Red Planet.

Jupiter is presently drowned in the glare of the sun and is not visible. The giant planet passes behind our star (conjunction) on November 26 and will reappear at dawn in December.

Saturn appears during evening twilight about 12 degrees high in the southwest, and then gradually descends toward the horizon where it vanishes around 6:30 p.m. On December 8 and 9, at dusk, the thin crescent moon will hang near the ringed planet, very low on the horizon, 45 minutes after sunset.

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