Venus, Saturn and Jupiter shine splendidly these days. On Sunday, November 7, after sunset, we can see them forming a pretty stamp with the fine edge of the crescent moon. Al Dawn, Mercury and Mars will be visible very closely at the beginning of the week, but at the horizon.
These days we have three very bright planets within reach of our look: Venus, Saturn and Jupiter. The best time to observe them simultaneously is when something more than an hour has passed after sunset, that is, at about 7:00 pm - 19.30 (peninsular time). For the southwest we can observe the splendid Fulgor of Venus and, heading to the south and above, Saturn's discreet orange glitter and the most intense Jupiter.
Sunday, day 7, the fine edge of the growing moon will come to complete the scene, standing on the same line. But it is convenient not to deny, for the Moon and Venus will be hiddenly hidden from the west (at about 8:00), following the trajectory of the Sun. According to the night progress, Jupiter and Saturn will lose height from the Meridian position in which he was They find after evening.
The line that unites the apparent positions of Jupiter, Saturn and Venus is the 'ecliptic' call. It is about the projection in the sky of the plane that contains the sun and the orbit of the Earth. By extension, this is called 'plane of ecliptic'. It is on this plane where the Moon must also be found so that an eclipse is given. The other seven planets of the Solar System also describe their orbits (very approximately) at the plane of the ecliptic, this is because the whole planetary family was formed from the same disk of gas and dust that surrounded the Sun in its childhood.
Although Venus, Jupiter and Saturn show us so well aligned and relatively upcoming in heaven, these planets are located at very different distances: Venus is now 91 million kilometers from Earth, while distances to Jupiter and Saturn are 715 and 1500 million kilometers, respectively. To guide us, remember that distance from Earth to the Sun is 150 million kilometers.
These days is also observable the little mercury for a short space of time at dawn for the east, an hour before the sun rises. That is, it is convenient to observe it at about 07.00 in the morning (peninsular time) and, as Always, from a place that has a well-clear horizon of obstacles such as mountains, trees or buildings.
On November 10, Mars will make his appearance, but even lower than mercury. That is, the conjunction between the two small planets will happen flush with the horizon and will barely be observable for half an hour.
Mercury is very bright (although about 30 times less than Venus on sunsets), but Mars, besides being close to the sunlight, is now on the other side of the Astro Rey, 385 million kilometers away, As far as it is hardly visible. To see it, it will be necessary to look for an exceptionally clear place and with a perfectly cleared horizon of obstacles. Good binoculars will be a good help to get to distinguish the red planet.
The progress of autumn makes the sunsets ahead. And this, along with the change of time of last weekend, increases our feeling of nocturnity. Lift the sight to heaven, follow the course of the same planets that our ancestors observed, even the most distant, in all civilizations, makes us feel close to nature and the great history of humanity; It makes us partakers aware of this cosmos, ancient and mysterious, which surprises us with its generous beauty.
Rafael Bachiller is Director of the National Astronomical Observatory (National Geographic Institute) and academic of the Royal Academy of Doctors of Spain.Updated Date: 07 November 2021, 18:19