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  • December 16, 2019

Planets visible to the naked eye - December 16, 2019

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

From December 16 to 30, 2019

Mercury is currently in the morning sky, but is too close to the sun to be easily visible. The tiny planet passes on the far side of the sun (superior conjunction) on January 10, and will gradually reappear a couple of weeks later, low in the west-southwest after sunset.

Venus is the dazzling Evening Star that shines in the southwest shortly after sunset and until it sets after 6:30 p.m. On December 28 at dusk, the thin crescent moon will hang just 3 degrees below Venus.

Mars emerges above the east-southeast horizon around 5:00 a.m., more than 2 ½ hours before sunrise. Look for the Red Planet at the crack of dawn, before the sky becomes too bright. On December 23, at dawn, the thin crescent Moon hangs 5 degrees to the lower left of the Red Planet.

Jupiter is now too close to the sun’s glare and cannot be seen. The Giant Planet passes behind the Sun (conjunction) on December 27, and will reappear at dawn during the second half of January.

Saturn is getting closer to the setting Sun and becomes increasingly difficult to see at dusk, very low in the southwest. The Ringed Planet becomes lost in the glare of sunset during the last days of December. Saturn will pass behind the Sun (conjunction) on January 13, and will reappear at dawn in February.

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