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  • November 6, 2017

Planets visible to the naked eye - November 6, 2017

  • Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium
Photo: Sophie Desrosiers

From November 6 to 20, 2017

Mercury, still immersed in the sun’s glare, is visible with difficulty in the evening sky: using binoculars, search for the tiny planet by scanning the south-western horizon, 20 minutes after sunset.

Venus is the bright Morning Star, shining at dawn above the east-southeast horizon. Venus is sinking back toward the Sun, and now rises only about 75 minutes before our daytime star. Jupiter, now just returning to the morning sky, rapidly rises toward Venus: the two brightest planets have a spectacularly close encounter on the morning of November 13, when they’ll be less than a third of a degree apart. The lunar crescent will hang 4 degree to the left of Venus on the morning of November 17, with Jupiter just a few degrees above them.

Mars is slowly pulling away from the sun’s glare and now rises more than 3 hours before our star. You’ll find the Red Planet in the east-southeast at the end of the night and at dawn. The lunar crescent will appear near Mars on the mornings of November 14 and 15.

Jupiter passed behind the Sun (conjunction) on October 26, and gradually reappears at dawn during the second week of November: look for the Giant Planet low in the east-southeast, below and slightly to the left of Venus, 20 minutes before sunrise. Over the following mornings, Jupiter rapidly rises toward Venus: the two brightest planets have a spectacularly close encounter on the morning of November 13, when they’ll be less than a third of a degree apart. The lunar crescent will hang 4 degree to the left of Venus on the morning of November 17, a few degrees below Jupiter.

Saturn appears at dusk, a dozen degrees above the southwest horizon, and sets around 6:30 p.m. The crescent moon hangs less than 3 degrees from the Ringed Planet on the evening of November 20.

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