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Planets visible to the naked eye

  • Photo: Sophie Desrosiers
    Planets visible to the naked eye

    From January 13 to 27, 2020

    Mercury passed on the far side of the sun (superior conjunction) on January 10, and will gradually reappear at dusk after January 23. Look for the tiny planet very low in the west-southwest about 30 minutes after sunset.

    Venus is the dazzling Evening Star that shines in the southwest shortly after sunset and until it sets around 8:00 p.m. On January 28 at dusk, the thin crescent moon will hang 6 degrees to the left of Venus.

    Mars emerges above the east-southeast horizon around 4:30 a.m., more than 2 ½ hours before sunrise. At the beginning of dawn, the Red Planet stands about 15 degrees high in the southeast. On January 20, at dawn, the thin crescent Moon hangs 4 degrees to the upper right of the Red Planet.

    Jupiter passed behind the Sun (conjunction) on December 27. The Giant Planet slowly pulls away from the sun’s glare, and gradually reappears at dawn after January 20: look for it very low in the southeast, 45 minutes before sunrise. Jupiter will become easier to pick out in February.

    Saturn is currently lost the sun’s glare and cannot be seen. The Ringed Planet passes behind the Sun (conjunction) on January 13, and will reappear at dawn in February.

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