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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Jupiter, Mars and Mercury Dance in the Sky

At 6 am on Sunday, take a hot cup of coffee outside and look towards the horizon in the East-Southeast. In about 20 minutes, you should see Jupiter, Mars and Mercury rise together. This will be the closest cluster of planets appearing over the next 47 years. You should be able to see all three of them with the naked eye, but around 7 am, as the Sun begins to rise, they will slowly fade from our view. Truly a dance you do not want to miss!

The following day, Mercury will pull away from it's other two dance partners in the sky. It should be a perfect example of planetary grace and motion. Jupiter, on the other hand will become brighter and can be seen higher in the sky as we head towards Christmas.

Towards the midle of the month, you will be able to spot Saturn, rising with Leo high above the eastern horizon by 11 pm.

Read more about this wonderful time to discover the night sky in the Washington Post article Early Birds Can Glimpse Mars, Mercury and Jupiter.


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