by Robert Wilkinson
The planets are all clustered in a way that gives us an incredible light show just after sunset!
At this time, the Sun leads the entire occupied half of the map between late Libra and early Taurus. While Mercury isn’t far enough away to be seen clearly in the evening sky unless you’re very lucky and have great eyes, once the Sun sets, look over at the western horizon, since you’ll see the Moon conjunct Venus and Jupiter just above the horizon. The first two set about an hour after the Sun.
At the same time, just after sunset, look up from the western horizon and about a third of the way up you’ll see Saturn, and if you keep going to the zenith of the sky, you’ll see Mars! So if you have clear skies, at sunset look west, and you’ll see the Moon and Venus on the horizon, with Jupiter just above them, and Saturn just above Jupiter, and Mars just above Saturn. As the darkness increases, the Moon and Venus will set, but we’ll still be able to see Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars between the western horizon and the meridian.
In the near future, Venus will disappear as it retrogrades closer to the Sun, the Moon will climb higher in the evening sky for the next week, while Mercury will conjunct Jupiter in about 19 days. They planets will continue to give us a great show in the western sky after sunset through then, so enjoy the show!
© Copyright 2018 Robert Wilkinson