When planets align

Tonight, right after sunset, on the western horizon, we have an opportunity to see five planets align near the moon: Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Uranus, and Mars. The near alignment will stretch from the horizon to about halfway up the night sky, but it should be noted that Mercury and Jupiter will fairly quickly dip below the horizon and out of sight. Local sunset here in Northern Virginia near the Potomac River will be 7:29 pm (7:45 pm in Tampa).

Venus will be the brightest with Mars and its reddish glow located near the moon. Mercury and Uranus will be harder to spot depending on your local night sky and “city glow.” Binoculars might help. Uranus casts a bit of a green glow and will be just above Venus.

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