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The Spectacular November Dance Between Venus, Jupiter, Saturn And The Moon

Sky and Telescope

As the month of November ends the planets Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon will put on a spectacular show in the southwestern evening sky just after sunset. 

The best place to observe this celestial show is where your horizon is unobstructed and these worlds can easily be seen.  We have enjoyed Jupiter and Saturn all summer. Now they prepare their final show for the year.

On November 26, and for the next few nights, Venus is just to the left and a little above Jupiter about 30 minutes after the Sun sets. Venus and Jupiter are about 4 degree apart. After you see these planets go outside at the same time each evening over the next week or so. Jupiter will set first then Venus. In a telescope Venus is almost full and shines at magnitude -3.9 while Jupiter is no as bright at magnitude -1.9 The planets appear close together in the sky, but Venus and Jupiter are over 430 million miles apart.

An additional treat on November 28 Thanksgiving evening you can see the thin crescent moon just above Venus.  Venus and Jupiter are now about 5 degrees apart.

During this time Venus, the brighter of the planets will climb upward from the western horizon while Jupiter moves downward and disappears into the Sun’s glare by mid-December.

The following evening, November 29 the crescent moon will be just 1 ½ degrees below the planet Saturn.  

Venus continues to move up toward a conjunction with Saturn by December 10.  They will appear close but Saturn will be over a billion miles away.

November is an active month for the planets and the moon.  Don’t miss this rare opportunity to watch
the celestial dance of the planets.  These celestial events are photogenic if you have a camera and a tripod or take a look at these planets in a telescope if you can.