Mars, Venus and Jupiter are gathering in the morning sky as autumn unfolds

As autumn unfolds, planets are gathering in the morning sky.

During this morning planet show, Mars, Venus and Jupiter converge… And the display will improve as autumn unfolds.

This picture features the crescent Moon passing by Venus and heading to Jupiter:

converging mars jupiter and venus , mars venu and jupiter conjunction, conjunction mars venus jupiter autumn, morning planets, mars and jupiter morning planet, morning star mars and jupiter, Moon passing by Venus on its route to Jupiter over Nuits-Saint-Georges, France. Photo by Jean-Baptiste Feldmann
Moon passing by Venus on its route to Jupiter over Nuits-Saint-Georges, France. Photo by Jean-Baptiste Feldmann

Have you ever watched planet dancing?

According to SpaceWeather.com, “more scenes like this are in the offing. On Oct. 8th the crescent Moon will have another close encounter with Venus (sky map), followed one day later by a near miss of Jupiter and Mars (sky map). Every morning thereafter, the planets will converge until Oct. 24thOct. 29th when they fit within a circle only 5o wide (sky maps: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6). Typical binoculars can see a patch of sky about 6o or 7o degrees wide.  So when the triangle of planets shrinks to 5o, they will fit together inside a binocular field of view. Imagine looking through the eyepiece and seeing three planets–all at once.

By the time October comes to an end, the planetary triangle will start breaking apart.  But there are still two dates of special interest:  Nov. 6th and 7th (sky maps:#1, #2).  On those increasingly wintry mornings, the crescent Moon will swoop in among the dispersing planets for a loose but beautiful conjunction.

You should thus look east before sunrise. Because there is a lot to see.

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