Mars is a bright spark in the sky at the moment

First published in Sky Watch The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

THE close approach of Venus and Jupiter might be over, but the show certainly isn't. The two planets are still very close together in the evening sky, gliding silently past each other in the twilight. I actually think that they'll look at their best after dark on the 19th - even better than on the 13th - when Venus will be shining above Jupiter. Fingers crossed for a clear sky that night!

Two other planets are now visible after dark, too. Look to the east after sunset and you'll see Mars shining there above the trees, a bright orange spark in the darkening sky. This is the brightest Mars will look this year, so make the most of the view; its ochre colour really stands out if you observe it from somewhere really dark.

Look east again at around ten pm and Saturn will be visible above the horizon, shining with a more gentle, vanilla- or gold-hued light. The rings are only visible through a telescope, but binoculars will show you its planet-sized moon Titan as a tiny 'star' close to Saturn itself.

Stuart Atkinson, Eddington AS of Kendal

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