Planets visible to the naked eye
From October 23 to November 6, 2017
Mercury passed behind the Sun (superior conjunction) on October 8. Still immersed in the sun’s glare, the tiny planet gradually reappears in the evening sky during the first days of November: using binoculars, search for it by scanning the south-western horizon, 15 minutes after sunset.
Venus is the bright Morning Star, shining above the east-southeast horizon at the very end of the night and at dawn. Venus is slowly sinking back toward the Sun, and now rises less than 2 hours before our daytime star. The lunar crescent will hang 4 degree to the left of Venus on the morning of November 17.
Mars is slowly pulling away from the sun’s glare and now rises 3 hours before our star. You’ll find the Red Planet at the end of the night and at dawn, about 15 degrees above dazzling Venus in the east-southeast. The lunar crescent will appear near Mars on the mornings of November 14 and 15.
Jupiter is too close to the Sun and is not currently observable. The Giant Planet passes behind our star (conjunction) on October 26, and will gradually reappear at dawn during the second week of November: look for it in the east-southeast, below and slightly to the left of Venus, 20 minutes before sunrise.
Saturn appears at dusk, about 15 degrees above the southwest horizon, and sets after 8:00 p.m. The crescent moon passes near the Ringed Planet on the evenings of October 23 and 24.