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  • December 2, 2019

Planets visible to the naked eye - December 2, 2019

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

From December 2 to 16, 2019

Mercury is visible in the morning sky until mid-December. Look for the tiny planet low in the east-southeast at dawn, 45 minutes before sunrise. Mercury is brighter at the end of this period of visibility, but becomes difficult to see after mid-December because it is too low on the horizon.

Venus is the dazzling Evening Star that shines in the southwest shortly after sunset. As the sky darkens with deepening twilight, Saturn also appears nearby: on the evenings of December 10 and 11, the two planets are less than 2 degrees apart. 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 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 getting closer to the setting Sun and becomes increasingly difficult to see at dusk, very low in the southwest. The Giant Planet becomes lost in the glare of sunset after mid-December. Jupiter will pass behind the Sun (conjunction) on December 27, and will reappear at dawn during the second half of January.

Saturn can be seen at dusk, but is getting closer to the Sun and shines lower in the southwest where it sets around 6:00 p.m. Bright Venus is approaching Saturn from the lower right and passes less than 2 degrees from the Ringed Planet on the evenings of December 10 and 11. The lunar crescent hangs about 4 ½ degrees to the left of Saturn on the evening of December 27.

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