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See nighttime’s brightest orbs on evening of November 20

2013-november-20-moon-jupiter-night-sky-chart

Tonight for November 20, 2013

Around the world this evening (November 20, 2013), and for some evenings around now, the three brightest celestial bodies of nighttime – the moon, Venus and Jupiter – light up the evening sky. However, you can’t see all three at the same time. Look for Venus in the west or southwest after sunset. Then before going to bed, look for the moon and Jupiter in the eastern sky.

Venus at nightfall

First thing after sunset, catch the dazzling planet Venus in the southwest at dusk and nightfall. Venus will set at early evening, an hour or so before Jupiter rises.

Venus, the brightest heavenly body after the sun and moon, pops out in the western sky first thing at dusk. This dazzling world will follow the sun beneath the horizon fairly early this evening at mid-northern latitudes. In the Southern Hemisphere, temperate latitudes will see Venus shining until pretty late this evening.

The moon is in a waning gibbous phase now. From most places worldwide, it’ll be rising in the east-northeast as Venus is setting in the west-southwest. In other worlds, look in the opposite direction of where Venus sets to catch tonight’s moonrise.

Jupiter will follow the moon into the evening sky, about an hour or so after moonrise. Tomorrow – on November 21 – the moon will be much closer to Jupiter.

Venus sets early. But once the moon and Jupiter rise into the starry sky, the two will be out for the rest of the night. They soar highest in the sky around 3 to 4 a.m. local time.

View larger. | Look closely at Venus in the twilight sky tonight, and you might notice a little star nearby.  This star is beloved among stargazers.  It's called Nunki, and it's in a little asterism known as the Milk Dipper of Sagittarius.  See the dipper shape?  Photo taken November 19, 2013 by EarthSky Facebook friend Rajib Maji in India.  Thank you, Rajib!

View larger. | Look closely at Venus in the twilight sky tonight, and you might notice a little star nearby. This star is beloved among stargazers. It’s called Nunki, and it’s in a little asterism known as the Milk Dipper of Sagittarius. See the dipper shape? Photo taken November 19, 2013 by EarthSky Facebook friend Rajib Maji in India. Thank you, Rajib!

Bottom line: The moon, Venus and Jupiter are the brightest objects in the night sky. They’re all up – just not at the same time. Look for Venus in the west or southwest after sunset. Then before going to bed, look for the moon and Jupiter in the eastern sky.

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