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Planets visible to the naked eye

  • Photo: Sophie Desrosiers
    Planets visible to the naked eye

    From May 31 to June 14, 2021

    Mercury is presently too close to the Sun and is not visible. The tiny planet slips between Earth and the Sun (inferior conjunction) on June 11. Mercury will then emerge at dawn at the end of June where it will be visible in the morning sky until the third week of July.

    Venus is the bright Evening Star that shines very low in the west-northwest, 45 minutes after sunset. On the evening of June 11, the very thin crescent moon is three degrees to the lower right of Venus.

    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 20 degrees high in the west, to the left of bright stars Pollux and Castor in Gemini, the Twins, and sets in the northwest around 11:30 p.m. On the evening of June 13, the thin crescent Moon hangs 2½ degrees above Mars.

    Jupiter is visible during the second half of the night and at dawn: The Giant Planet emerges in the east-southeast around 1:30 a.m. At dawn, it shines brightly some 30 degrees high in the south-southeast. On the morning of June 1, the waning gibbous Moon sits 5½ degrees below Jupiter.

    Saturn is visible during the second half of the night and at dawn. The Ringed Planet rises in the east-southeast, around 1:00 a.m. During dawn, Saturn shines some 27 degrees high in the south, about 18 degrees to the right of very bright Jupiter. On the morning of June 27, the waning gibbous Moon shines 5 degrees below Saturn.

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