The sequel to December’s Great Conjunction is already here and easy to locate.
A trio of planets is scheduled to make an appearance during dusk this weekend when Jupiter and Saturn, still partying together at the after-party from last month’s rare Great Conjunction, will be joined just above the western to the southwestern horizon by the more inconstant planet Mercury. The planetary trio happens to be a unique sight that can be seen by the naked eye immediately after sunset over the next few days. However, during Saturday evening it will probably be the ideal opportunity to spot the three worlds clubbed together.
Astronomy magazine reports that all the planets will be noticeable within an area approximately 2.3 degrees across that evening, which is about the width of your pinky and ring finger together when they’re held away from your body at an arm’s length. Mercury will presumably be the lowest of the three in the sky, Jupiter could be the brightest and Saturn possibly the faintest.
Binoculars may allow you to avail a clearer view, while even an inexpensive backyard telescope can offer an opportunity to view a few of the larger moons of Jupiter. This could be an interesting attempt when Mercury and Saturn have disappeared below the horizon and it’s a bit darker out. The ideal way to glimpse the entire trio is to step outside right after the sun sets as Mercury and Saturn will be quick to submerge below the horizon within an hour. While the planets may be closest on Saturday, they will continue assembling during shifting around over the next few nights. It means that you have a few shots at catching them all similar to a kind of cosmic game of Pokemon.