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  • March 22, 2021

Planets visible to the naked eye - March 22, 2021

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

From March 22 to April 5, 2021

Mercury is presently too close to the sun and is not visible. The tiny planet passes in inferior conjunction (behind the sun) on April 18 and will reappear in the evening sky a few days later.

Venus is too close to the sun and is not currently visible. The planet passes on the far side of the sun (superior conjunction) on March 26, and will gradually reappear as the bright Evening Star after mid-April.

Mars is receding from Earth, and although its brightness has decreased a lot since opposition last October, it’s still fairly bright. The Red Planet appears at dusk about 55 degrees high in the west-southwest, a few degrees above bright star Aldebaran. Mars sets in the west-northwest around 1:00 a.m. The crescent Moon shines near Mars on the evenings of April 16 and 17.

Jupiter is now easily visible at dawn: The Giant Planet emerges in the east-southeast more than an hour before sunrise. Jupiter is gradually pulling away from the Sun and appears higher in the sky each day, thus becoming easier to spot against a darker sky. On the morning of April 7, the waning crescent Moon passes 5 degrees below Jupiter.

Saturn is now visible at the end of the night and at dawn: Look for Saturn very low in the east-southeast, more than 90 minutes before sunrise. During dawn, Saturn shines about ten degrees to the right of very bright Jupiter. The Ringed Planet is gradually pulling away from the Sun and appears higher in the sky each day, thus becoming easier to spot against a darker sky. On the morning of April 6, the waning crescent Moon hangs 4½ degrees below Saturn.

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