The brightest planets in October’s night sky: How to see them (and when)


With the singular exception of Mars, October will provide a very good view of the four other naked-eye planets. 

Right after sunset we have Venus, slowly ramping up in brightness as well as slowly lifting a little higher into the southwest sky compared the recent months; by month’s end it remains above the horizon for more than two hours after sundown. Saturn and Jupiter are conveniently placed in the southern sky as darkness falls and are available for telescopic scrutiny during the first half of the night. And finally, for early risers, Mercury puts in its best morning sky appearance of 2021 during the second half of the month. 



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