Bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the south during the early evening hours of October.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the southern sky as the sky darkens after sunset during early October.
Both planets are slowly moving eastward in front of the stars of eastern Sagittarius, before their Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020. Such groupings occur once every 19.6 years.
In a month (November 2, 2020), the two planets have a heliocentric conjunction. As viewed from the sun, the two planets are lined up, but they are still far apart as seen from the skies of Earth.
Jupiter is 7.1° to the lower right of Saturn.
On the image above, three stars are identified, Pi Sagittarii (π Sgr on the photo), 56 Sagittarii (56 Sgr) and 50 Sagittarii (50 Sgr). Use a binocular to observe the planets slowly move compared to the starfield. Jupiter moves away from π Sgr and toward 50 Sgr. Saturn slowly inches eastward (to the left on the photo) compared to 56 Sgr.
The motion is slow-moving and the anticipatory approach of Jupiter toward Saturn has been occurring since they emerged from the sun’s glare in the morning sky last winter.
Jupiter is now closing in on the Ringed Wonder.
Read more about the planets during October.
September 14, 2022: Three bright planets and the moon are visible overnight. The moon is near Uranus before daybreak. The Sickle of Leo is in the eastern sky before sunrise.Keep reading
September 13, 2022: Contrary to Internet memes, Mars will not appear as large as the moon when the Red Planet is closest to Earth. Overnight a planet display with Mars, the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn arches across the sky.Keep reading
September 12, 2022: Mars continues its eastward trek with Taurus. Overnight, Saturn, Jupiter, the bright moon, and Mars put on an exhibition that stretches across over half the sky.Keep reading