A trio of planets will appear at dusk this weekend as Jupiter and Saturn, still chilling together at last month̵
Astronomy magazine reports that that night the planets will all be visible in an area of about 2.3 degrees (that’s about the width of your little finger and ring finger together when held at arm’s length from your body). Mercury will be the lowest of the three in the sky, Jupiter will be the brightest, and Saturn will be the dimmest.
Binoculars can help you get a better view, while even a cheap backyard telescope can provide a chance to get a glimpse of some of Jupiter’s larger moons. This might be a good thing to try if Mercury and Saturn have disappeared below the horizon and it’s a bit darker outside.
To make sure you catch the entire trio, the key is to get out immediately after the sun sets, as Mercury and Saturn will quickly plunge below the horizon in an hour. While the planets may be closest to Saturday, they will continue to gather as they slide around for the next few nights, so you have a few photos to capture them all like some kind of cosmic Pokémon game.
As always, if the amateur astrophotographers among you are taking great photos of the celestial gathering, share them with me on Twitter @EricCMack.
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