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Guide to viewing several planets in late September, early October

Telescope under the night sky

Telescope under the night sky

By and

From around the world, three of the five bright planets appear in the evening sky as darkness falls in late September and early October 2016: Venus, Saturn and Mars. One other bright planet – Mercury – appears before dawn.

Mercury is near the sunrise point and most easily seen from the Northern Hemisphere. Mercury soars highest up from the glare of sunrise in late September 2016. Before Mercury disappears in the sun’s glare in October, the very bright planet Jupiter will climb away from the sunrise glare and appear right next to Mercury before dawn.

Watch for the moon to sweep past Mercury in late September, then keep watching as Jupiter meets up with Mercury on October 11. Just know that – even from Northern Hemisphere locations, where the view is best – you’ll need to look only shortly before sunrise.

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