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Planetary trio: Photos of Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn

A red sky with trhee white dots labeled above distant water tower and power line.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Dan Wyman in Oceanside, California, captured Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn on January 11, 2021. Thank you, Dan!

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.

EarthSky’s lunar calendar shows the moon phase for every day in 2021. Order yours before they’re gone!

Three positions of very thin crescent moon near dot slightly above horizon.
Watch for the young moon and Mercury, the innermost planet, on January 14, 15 and 16, 2021. Read more.
Kids standing in clearing looking at 3 planets in pink sky over forest treetops.
View at EarthSky Community Photos.| Nikunj Rawal in Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, captured the planetary trio on January 10, 2021. Nikunj wrote: “Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter triangle … with my 2 kids watching them.” Thank you, Nikunj!
3 labeled dots above line of palm trees across body of water.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Cattleya Flores-Viray in La Jolla, California, caught the planetary trio on January 9, 2021. Thank you, Cattleya!

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!

January 14, 2021
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Eleanor Imster

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