Fri., Oct. 14 6:52 6:02
Sat., Oct. 15 6:53 6:01
Sun., Oct. 16 6:54 5:59
Mon., Oct. 17 6:55 5:57
Tues., Oct. 18 6:56 5:56
Wed., Oct. 19 6:57 5:54
Thurs., Oct. 20 6:59 5:51
Fri., Oct. 21 7:00 5:51
The skies in the weeks ahead are especially interesting for planet watchers, no telescope required. Three planets are easily visible: Venus, Jupiter and Mars.
Venus, the brightest planet in our night sky, is easiest to see. Our brilliant sister planet hovers in the western sky just above the horizon after sunset. A month ago Venus was obscured by the glare of the setting sun.
Venus, 148 million miles away, is an impressive presence in the night sky. In the weeks ahead it will resemble an airplane with landing lights approaching from the southwest.
Jupiter rises in the east after the sun sets in the west. Moving closer to the earth, Jupiter is in opposition late in the month, only 369 million miles away. The planet resides just under the zodiacal constellation Aries, a constellation most often associated with autumn and early winter.
The red planet Mars is either a very late night or very early morning planet, rising in the eastern sky before 2 a.m. Mars resides in the zodiacal constellation Leo, and has grown brighter since summer.
Mars will be in opposition, close to us, by the beginning of next year. From now until then, it will continue to grow brighter.