Parade of planets visible in the night sky this week


ST. LOUIS – There will be a parade of planets this month. December 6-10 you will be able to see three planets, and then on December 12 you will be able to see five.

There will be a crescent moon, too, which will provide less moonlight, making it easier to see the planets.

The Missouri Department of Conservation shared this timeline for planet viewing:

  • On Dec. 6, the crescent moon will appear near Venus within 3 degrees in the early evening sky. Venus is the brightest planet.
  • On Dec. 7, the crescent moon and Saturn are about 5 degrees apart. Saturn is a fainter planet with a gold color. If conditions are right, you can see its rings with a telescope during twilight, and may even see its largest moon, Titan.
  • On Dec. 8, the moon approaches close to Jupiter, our largest planet. With clear conditions and a telescope, you may be able to see its four largest moons.
  • On Dec. 10, look for the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn forming a nice row in the sky.
Courtesy: MDC

The St. Louis Astronomy Facebook page said the best time to observe five planets together will be after sunset on Dec. 12. Venus, Saturn, Jupiter and the moon will be visible to the naked eye.

You will need a pair of binoculars or a small telescope to see Neptune, Uranus, Ceres (a dwarf planet) and Pallas (a large asteroid).

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