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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to see Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn in rare combination this weekend

How to see Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn in rare combination this weekend



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The two largest worlds and the smallest planet in the solar system will appear this weekend.

NASA

A trio of planets will appear at dusk this weekend as Jupiter and Saturn, still chilling together at last month̵

7;s after party rare Great Conjunction, will be joined just above the western to southwestern horizon by the more volatile planet Mercury. The planetary trio is a rare spectacle that can be seen with the naked eye for the next few days just after sunset, but Saturday night offers perhaps the best opportunity to see the three worlds packed together.

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, it’s important to get outside right away after the sun sets, as Mercury and Saturn will quickly disappear below the horizon within an hour. Although the planets are closest to Saturday, they will continue to collect as they slide around for the next few nights, so you have a few photos to capture them all like some kind of cosmic Pokemon game.

As always, if the amateur astrophotographers among you grab some great images from the celestial gathering, share them with me on Twitter @EricCMack.

To follow CNET’s 2021 Space Calendar to stay up to date with the latest space travel news this year. You can even add it to your own Google calendar.




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