(NEXSTAR) — There’s no need for binoculars with five planets in our solar system bright enough to be seen with the human eye in November. Here’s how to spot them.:
Searching at night
Throughout the month, look for Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn at nightfall. The bright spot in the eastern sky will be Mars, and the one in the west will be Jupiter. Though not as bright as its neighbor, Saturn will be visible 5 degrees east of Jupiter, or roughly the width of two fingers held at arm’s length.
Here’s a look at how the stars in the western sky will be grouped.
FUN FACT: Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are known as superior planets, meaning they orbit the sun outside of Earth’s orbit.
Searching in the morning
Venus is the brightest “star” in the predawn/dawn hours, outshining Mercury by a factor of 70 in the early part of the month. Mercury can be found beneath Venus, closer to the horizon, about an hour or more before sunrise in the central U.S. Although relatively overshadowed by Venus early, Mercury will brighten and climb higher in the sky as the month progresses.
FUN FACT: Both Venus and Mercury are known as inferior planets, or planets that orbit the sun inside of Earth’s orbit.
For more information on this month’s celestial events, visit Earthsky.org.
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