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Planets visible to the naked eye

  • Photo: Sophie Desrosiers
    Planets visible to the naked eye

    From October 4 to 18, 2021

    Mercury passes between Earth and the Sun (inferior conjunction) on October 9, and gradually reappears in the morning sky a few days later. After October 16, look for the tiny planet low on the eastern horizon, 30 minutes before sunrise. Mercury brightens with each passing day and becomes easier to spot in the colours of dawn.

    Venus is the bright Evening Star that shines low in the southwest, 20 minutes after sunset; Venus itself sets more than 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 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 9 p.m., the Giant Planet shines brightly about 29 degrees high in the south, and vanishes below the west-southwest horizon before 2 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 south-southeast, about 16 degrees to the right of very bright Jupiter. The Ringed Planet culminates around 8 p.m., 25 degrees high in the south, and sets before 1 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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