"Five Pretty Planets For Your Perusal"

Scheduled air date: 2001 Oct 29-Nov 04

The planet Mars is currently visible shortly after sunset to the South in the constellation Capricornus.
(Shown about an hour after sunset for mid-Northern latitudes.)

By 10:00 PM, the bright planets Saturn and Jupiter can be seen to the East in the constellations Taurus and Gemini, respectively.  The Waning Gibbous Moon will visit Saturn on the nights of November 2nd and 3rd.  On the night of the 5th, the Moon will pass within about one degree of Jupiter, as shown in the inset above.
(Shown around 10:00 PM for mid-Northern latitudes.  Times of Moon's positions in inset are approximate local time for North America.) 

In the morning sky, the inner planets Venus and Mercury appear within one degree of each other this week before gradually separating next week.  Due to the present geometry of their orbital positions and that of Earth, they will appear within one degree of each other for twelve consecutive days, instead of the usual 1-2 days of such a conjunction.
(Positions shown at one-day intervals about 30-60 minutes before sunrise for mid-Northern latitudes.)

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

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