There are three visible planets in our evening sky, and a fourth under our feet. On any clear night, right after sunset, it is possible these days to see Jupiter, Mars and Saturn.
Jupiter is low in the western sky. It is brilliant, resides near the edge between the two zodiacal constellations Cancer and Gemini. It doesn’t stay visible very long, though, before setting in the west a few hours later.
The red planet Mars is high in the southeastern sky after sunset and it is bright, but not as bright as Jupiter. Mars is in the zodiacal constellation Virgo. It is the brightest celestial object in that portion of the sky. When compared to other stars, Mars has a distinct reddish color. Only the bright blueish star Spica is nearby.
The ringed planet Saturn is close to the horizon in the southeastern sky. Saturn resides in the zodiacal constellation Libra. It is a loner, surrounded by a lot of faint stars.
What is the fourth planet, under our feet? We thought you’d never ask, Earth.
And for those up and outside early in the morning, the bright planet Venus resides low in the southeastern sky at this time. Venus outshines all the other visible plants. It is much brighter even than Jupiter, but visible at an inconvenient time.
Venus appears in the eastern sky amid the glow of dawn, but soon gets upstaged by the rising sun.
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