Three Planets at Sunset

July 06, 2005


Referred by: Hubert Querlioz, Passion dans l'azur
Summary authors & editors: Hubert Querlioz; Jim Foster

On the evening of June 27, three planets had an appointment in the western sky with the setting Sun, seen from Haute-Loire (France). Venus, by far the most brilliant is astride of the elusive Mercury, which is so discreet that even some astronomers have never seen it with the naked eye. Indeed, being the nearest planet to the Sun, it's always fairly close to the horizon. On this photo, Saturn hugs the western horizon (directly below Mercury and Venus but barely visible), a position more typical of Mercury. Its days of twilight visibility are numbered -- soon to be obscured by its close proximity to the Sun. Click on photo for an expanded view.

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