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  • November 6, 2019

Planets visible to the naked eye - November 4, 2019

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

From November 4 to 18, 2019

Mercury is too close to the Sun and not currently visible. On November 11, the tiny planet is in inferior conjunction, between Earth and the Sun: On this occasion, Mercury will in fact pass directly in front of the Sun—a rare event called a transit. Mercury re-emerges at dawn after November 20 for an excellent apparition in the morning sky.

Venus is reappearing gradually in the evening sky, and becomes easier to detect with each passing evening. Look for the bright planet low above the southwest horizon, 30 minutes after sunset. On November 28 at dusk, the thin crescent moon will hang just 1 ½ degrees above Venus, forming a striking trio with Jupiter less than 5 degrees to their right.

Mars emerges above the east-southeast horizon around 5:00 a.m., about 90 minutes before sunrise. Look for the Red Planet during dawn, just above the horizon, before the sky becomes too bright. From November 9 to 11, Mars passes less than 3 degrees from bluish-white star Spica, which offers a nice colour contrast to the Red Planet’s orange tint. On November 24, at dawn, the crescent Moon hangs 3 ½ degrees left of the Red Planet.

Jupiter is getting closer to the setting Sun and shines lower and lower in the southwest at nightfall. The bright planet appears during twilight, about 10 degrees above the horizon, and sets around 6:00 p.m. On November 28 at dusk, the thin crescent moon will hang just 1 ½ degrees above Venus; less than 5 degrees to their right, Jupiter completes this striking trio.

Saturn is easy to see during the early evening hours. The Ringed Planet appears during twilight some 18 degrees high in the south-southwest, and sets in the southwest around 7:30 p.m. On the evening of November 29, the lunar crescent appears less than 2 degrees below Saturn.

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