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Planets visible to the naked eye

  • Photo: Sophie Desrosiers
    Planets visible to the naked eye

    From September 20 to October 4, 2021

    Mercury is too close to the Sun and is not visible presently. The tiny planet will be passing between Earth and the Sun (inferior conjunction) on October 9, and will reappear in the morning sky a few days later.

    Venus is the bright Evening Star that shines low in the southwest, 20 minutes after sunset; Venus itself sets about an hour and a half after the Sun. On the evening of October 9, the thin crescent moon hangs just 2 degrees above the Evening Star.

    Mars is now too close to the Sun and is not visible. The Red Planet passes behind the Sun (conjunction) on October 8, and will reappear gradually in the morning sky in late November.

    Jupiter appears after sunset in the southeast. Around 10 p.m., the Giant Planet shines brightly about 29 degrees high in the south, and vanishes below the west-southwest horizon before 3 a.m. The waxing gibbous Moon lies a few degrees below Jupiter on the evenings of October 14 and 15.

    Saturn appears at dusk in the southeast, about 16 degrees to the right of very bright Jupiter. The Ringed Planet culminates around 9 p.m., 25 degrees high in the south, and sets before 2 a.m. in the west-southwest. The waxing gibbous Moon lies a few degrees below Saturn on the evenings of October 13 and 14.

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