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Want to see a planet? Try Mars and the moon on November 24-26

Look for the waxing crescent moon near Mars on November 24, November 25 and November 26.

Tonight is Nov 24, 2014

Moon Phase Courtesy U.S. Naval Observatory

Tonight – November 24, 2014 – look low in the southwest as darkness falls to catch the red planet Mars above the thin waxing crescent moon. The moon will be even closer to Mars at nightfall on November 25. And the pair will be near each other still on November 26. See chart above. Mars is the only planet that’s easily visible to the unaided eye as darkness falls on these November 2014 evenings. So enjoy it near the moon! More about the whereabouts of the other planets in this post.

Will you also see the planet Venus on these late November, 2014, evenings? Venus is now returning to the western twilight sky. See below.

Venus is tough to see now and sets shortly behind the sun. It sits close to the horizon at sunset, and follows the sun beneath the horizon very soon after sundown. Venus will become more easily visible in early December and go on to shine as the sky’s brightest planet at year’s end and when 2015 begins.

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Venus will be hard to see in the harsh glare of civil twilight.

In late November, Venus will be hard to see in the glow of twilight. But just wait! One night soon, you’ll spot it.

The solar system’s largest planet – Jupiter – is easily visible now, but only to those who stay up late or get up early. Jupiter comes up in the east in late evening, and can be seen more or less overhead in the morning sky. Jupiter climbs highest up for the night as the predawn darkness ebbs toward dawn. You can’t miss it! It’s the brightest “star” overhead at dawn.

Jupiter rises late tonight but shines high in the predawn/dawn sky.

Jupiter rises late at night in late November. It shines high in the predawn/dawn sky.

The planets Saturn and Mercury are presently paired up in the morning sky. They’re not super obvious, however. These two worlds rise so shortly before sunrise that – unless you look closely and perhaps scan toward the eastern horizon with binoculars – they’re lost in the glare of morning twilight.

Saturn will become visible before dawn in December. Mercury will shift over into the evening sky on December 10, 2014, but might not become visible in your evening sky again until January, 2015.

Mercury and Saturn's furtive rendezvous will be hard to spot before sunrise.

Mercury and Saturn’s furtive rendezvous in late November will be hard to spot before sunrise.

Bottom line: Mars is the sole planet easy to see in the evening sky when night falls, in late November 2014. That’ll be the case until Venus returns to the evening sky in early December.

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