Four planets shine during the early evening hours tonight.
Venus, Jupiter, and Mercury, shine between the clouds this evening as seen from the Chicago area. A planetary ballet is unfolding in the western sky as Mercury passes brilliant Venus and bright Jupiter later next week. This evening Mercury appears about 1.5 degrees to the upper right of Venus and Jupiter is about 4 degrees to the upper left of Venus. (Click the image to see it larger.) Mercury’s rapid orbital motion is carrying it higher in the sky each evening.
For more about the grouping of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter, see our monthly skywatching posting.
For more about Venus as an evening star, see our detailed explanation of this evening appearance this year.
Meanwhile, Saturn and Spica (Virgo) appear in the southeastern sky with the full moon nearby, although the moon is outside the frame. (Click the image to see it larger.)