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Planets visible in night sky this month
May 14, 2013 | 2512 views | 1 1 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Images taken by the Voyager spacecraft of the planets and four of jupiter’s moons is set against a false-color rosette nebula with earth’s moon in the foreground.
Photo montage by Stocktrek
Images taken by the Voyager spacecraft of the planets and four of jupiter’s moons is set against a false-color rosette nebula with earth’s moon in the foreground. Photo montage by Stocktrek
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BY SHAIN GILLET

Clipper Sports Editor

WOODS CROSS
 — Residents who enjoy the great outdoors may want to mark May 26 on their calendars.

On that day, a Sunday, three of the solar system’s planets will be visible over the night’s sky. According to astronomers, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury will form a “triangle” in the night’s sky.*

The trio of planets can be seen in the fading sunlight and “form a triangle only three degrees wide,” according to NASA.

The triple conjunction of visible planets during this time is rare. Dr. Tony Phillips of NASA said the trio of planets being seen so close together hasn’t happened since May 2011, and won’t happen again until October of 2015.

The best time to look for Venus, Jupiter and Mercury is approximately 30-60 minutes after sunset, said Phillips, when they will be viewable from the West.

Venus will be the first planet to become visible, and the others will be visible using standard binoculars.

There will be other times where planets will start to gather earlier than May 26, however.

From May 11-13, the crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter formed a long diagonal line during sunset, and Jupiter and Venus will be close together on May 23. 

On May 24, Mercury passes Venus less than two degrees apart, said Phillips.

To be able to see the planets clearly, it’s encouraged that people face west during the sunset hours. 

*This article was amended to reflect that the third planet visible on May 26 is Mercury. 

sgillet@davisclipper.com

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Calinsor
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May 15, 2013
Actually it will be Venus, Mercury and Jupiter not Mars that forms the triangle. Mars is on the other side of the sun from where the above three planets will be and will drop below the horizon before the sun does.
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