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  • October 21, 2019

Planets visible to the naked eye - October 21, 2019

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

From October 21 to November 4, 2019

Mercury is ending a poor evening apparition. Using binoculars, try to find the tiny planet by scanning the west-southwest horizon, about 20 minutes after sunset, to the lower left of brighter Venus. Mercury becomes fainter with every passing evening and is increasingly difficult to pick out against the bright sky; we lose sight of it in the glare of twilight after October 25.

Venus is reappearing gradually in the evening sky, and becomes easier to detect with each passing evening. Search for the bright planet by scanning the west-southwest horizon with binoculars, 20 minutes after sunset. On October 29 at dusk, the thin crescent moon will hang just 4 degrees above Venus.

Mars gradually reappears in the dawn sky. Look due east for the Red Planet, just above the horizon, one hour before sunrise. It appears higher and becomes easier to see with each passing day, as it pulls away from the glare of the Sun. On October 26, at dawn, the crescent Moon hangs 6 degrees above the Red Planet.

Jupiter shines brightly in the southwest during the early evening hours. The Giant Planet appears during twilight, about 15 degrees above the south-southwest horizon, and then descends toward the southwest horizon where it sets around 8:00 p.m. On the evening of October 31, the crescent Moon will shine 4 degrees to the upper left of Jupiter.

Saturn is also easy to see during the evening. The Ringed Planet appears during twilight some 20 degrees high in the south, and sets in the southwest around 9:30 p.m. On the evening of November 1, the lunar crescent lies 5 degrees to the lower right of Saturn. The next evening, November 2, the moon appears 8 degrees to the upper left of the planet.

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