Hey, hey, hey. Three planets are now lining up in a neat row at dusk. Watch for the trio starting 30-35 minutes after sunset when they’ll be low in the northwestern sky.
The distance between Venus and Jupiter has shrunk over the past week and now stands at about 8 degrees or just shy of a fist held at arm’s length against the sky. Mercury finally joins the crew after emerging from the sun’s glare, though it will be the most challenging to see because of low elevation. As always when hunting planets in twilight, be a slacker and bring binoculars to make the job easy. Mercury will become easier to see by mid-week as it races up from the sun.
Venus is brightest at magnitude -3.4, while Jupiter and Mercury are near equals at -1.5 and -1.3 respectively. A week from now the three will all be clustered within a couple degrees of each other and form striking, triangle-shaped configurations that change night by night. I’ll have maps and times to look later this week. Get your cameras ready!