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  • April 6, 2020

Planets visible to the naked eye - April 6, 2020

  • Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan
Photo: Sophie Desrosiers
Planets visible to the naked eye

From April 6 to 20, 2020

Mercury is presently too close to the Sun and is not visible from our northern latitudes. The tiny planet passes behind the Sun (superior conjunction) on May 4, and will reappear in the evening sky in mid-May.

Venus is the dazzling Evening Star that shines high in the west from sunset until it sets in the west-northwest after 11:30 p.m. (daylight saving time). After sunset, Venus first appears about 35 degrees high, but lower and lower with each passing day as the separation between the planet and the sun gradually decreases. During the evening of April 26, the thin crescent moon passes 7 degrees to the left of Venus.

Mars emerges above the southeast horizon after 4:30 a.m. At dawn, the Red Planet stands about 15 degrees high in the south-southeast. Mars moves rapidly with respect to the background stars: The Red Planet is now moving away from Saturn and Jupiter (both to its right). Watch as the gap between them increases from day to day: On April 16, at the end of the night and at dawn, the waning crescent Moon hangs less 3 ½ degrees to the lower left of Mars.

Jupiter is visible in the southeast after 3:30 a.m. At dawn, the bright Giant Planet shines about 20 degrees above the south-southeast horizon. Note the presence of Saturn (a few degrees to its lower left) and Mars (to the left of Saturn). On the morning of April 15, the last quarter Moon lies 3 degrees below Saturn and draws a triangle with Jupiter, 6 degrees to the upper right.

Saturn is visible at dawn, very low in the southeast after 3:30 a.m. a few degrees to the lower left of bright Jupiter. At dawn, Saturn stands about 20 degrees in the south-southeast. Note the presence of Mars to its lower left, and watch as the gap between them grows from day to day. On the morning of April 15, the last quarter Moon lies 3 degrees below Saturn and draws a triangle with Jupiter, 6 degrees to the upper right.

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