All Of The Planets – If Your Sky Is Clear

There’s a thing going on this week where all of the planets (including Pluto), plus the Moon, plus Ceres will all be above the horizon and visible at the same time. Phil Plait has a great article about it with maps and so on.

In short, immediately after sunset, look to the west and you’ll see Venus right near the horizon, Mercury above it a bit in the twilight, then looking up from there you’ll see Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, with the Moon moving around in there from day to day. With binoculars and a map you can find Uranus, possibly Neptune, and Ceres, the largest asteroid. With a mid-sized telescope you can see Neptune, and with a big telescope and/or a camera set up you can see Pluto. The Earth, of course, is below you.

Wednesday’s the best day for this, but you can probably see it almost any night this week, adjusting for how the planets move a bit every day.

Assuming, of course, that you have a clear sky. It might be cold, but it needs to be clear.

We’ll be relatively warm, temps in the 50’s and 60’s, but it’s gonna look like this:

This is the storm moving in from the west. By noon tomorrow it’s supposed to be raining pretty steadily for the next ten days or more. Again, as always, we’re in year four of one of the worst droughts on record so all of this rain is extremely welcome. Except, of course, for that whole “rain = clouds = NO planets visible” equation.

We’ll see if we get lucky. I’ll take a peek this weekend every day around sunset. You should do the same.

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Weather

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