This weekend, when Jupiter and Saturn appeared three planets at dusk, they were still relaxing together at the party last month, Adding the lighter-flying Mercury to the upper part of the west high southwest range. The planetary trio is a rare sight that can be seen with the naked eye after sunset in the next few days, but Saturday night may be the best opportunity to watch the three worlds come together.
Astronomy magazine reported that the entire planet will be visible in an area of about 2.3 degrees that night (when they are at a certain distance from the arm, the width of the little finger and ring finger will merge). Mercury will be the lowest of the three in the sky, Jupiter will be the brightest, and Saturn will be the darkest.
Binoculars may help you get a better view, and even cheap backyard telescopes can provide a peek into some of the larger moons of Jupiter. When Mercury and Saturn disappear below the horizon, it may be a good thing to try this.
To ensure that the entire trio is captured, the key is to go out as soon as the sun sets, because Mercury and Saturn will quickly fall below the horizon within an hour. Although the planets may be the closest to Saturday, they will continue to gather and move around in the next few nights, so you can hide and seek in the universe like you catch a Pokémon.
As always, if an amateur astrophotographer among you has captured any great images of the celestial gathering, please share with me on Twitter @EricCMack.
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