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  • March 8, 2021

Planets visible to the naked eye - March 8, 2021

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

From March 8 to 22, 2021

Mercury is at the end of a poor apparition in the morning sky. Until March 10, look for the tiny planet very low in the south-southeast, 30 minutes before sunrise; after mid-March, Mercury vanishes in the sun’s glare. It passes in inferior conjunction (behind the sun) on April 18 and will reappear in the evening sky later this spring.

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 60 degrees high in the southwest and sets in the west-northwest around 12:30 a.m. (Standard Time). From March 6 to 10, the Red Planet passes between the Hyades and the Pleiades. During the evening of March 19, the thick crescent Moon hangs 3 degrees to the left of Mars.

Jupiter is now visible at dawn: Look for the Giant Planet very low in the east-southeast, 45 minutes 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.

Saturn is now visible at dawn: Look for Saturn very low in the east-southeast, 60 minutes before sunrise, 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.

For more information on observing planets, constellations, and other astronomical phenomena
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