Got your coat, hat and gloves? You’re ready then for tomorrow morning’s close conjunction of Venus and Saturn. The two will be just a half a degree or one full moon diameter apart in the southeastern sky at dawn. Look for fainter Saturn below Venus Monday; on Tuesday they’ll be equally close but switch positions. Though tight as two kernels on a cob, you’ll still be able to separate Venus from Saturn with your naked eye.
Telescope users have the pleasure of observing both planets in the same field of view. Venus presents a waxing gibbous disk, while Saturn’s rings are tilted open enough to be obvious even at 30x. Be sure to look for a little “star” floating immediately to the east of Saturn. That’s Titan, its brightest and largest moon.
Mercury has recently entered the morning sky as well, visible low in the southeast in morning twilight. Nothing like three planets for the price of one early rising.You may even get to see the space station by the Venus-Saturn. It happens at 6:18 a.m. on Nov. 27 for the Duluth, Minn. region. To check times and a map for your town, log on to Heavens Above.
The weather looks good here, so I plan to set the alarm for my first look at Saturn this season. I hope you’re able to do the same.