Did you see the planetary trio – a close grouping of Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury in the evening sky – this past weekend? By definition, a planetary trio consists of three planets fitting within a circle whose diameter is less than 5 degrees. That’s about three fingers held at arm’s length. A typical binocular field of view spans 5 degrees or more, so – for a few days – Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury fit in a single binocular field. Read more about the planetary trio.
Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury were close to the sunset and a challenge to see, but some in the EarthSky community did catch them. Enjoy these photos!
And if you missed the trio – or if you saw them – keep watching the west after sunset. Jupiter and Saturn are likely too close to the sun’s glare to be viewed now, but Mercury has ascended higher in the sky, and the moon will be passing through beginning tonight (January 14). Read more about the young moon and Mercury on January 14, 15 and 16, 2021.
Bottom line: Photos of the planetary trio – Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury – from last weekend. And a chart showing the young moon and Mercury this week!
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.