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Skywatch: Find the five 'naked eye' planets this week

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are all visible this week.

The innermost planet will reach a milestone early this week. At about 2 a.m. Monday morning Mercury will reach something known as its greatest eastern elongation. 

This is when the planet will appear farthest from the sun as we observe it here on Earth.

It’s also when the planet shines brightly. This month is the best month to view Mercury. 

Look in the west Sunday after sunset & use the Moon to help you find Mars, Mercury and Venus. You’ll need a clear view of the horizon to see Mercury and Venus.

The First Quarter Moon will arrive on Wednesday at 3:13 p.m. Look for the half-moon Wednesday night.

The largest planet in the solar system reaches a milestone this week as well. On Friday Jupiter will be at what astronomers call the west quadrature. 

Simply put if you were to look at the solar system from above the Sun, Earth & Jupiter would form a 90-degree angle.

If you look in the southeastern sky before dawn you can find Jupiter, it’ll look like the brightest star in the sky. Not far off, just above and right of the planet, you’ll find Saturn. 

Happy hunting!