PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The night sky is putting on a well-timed show for Earthlings stuck at home.
In the early morning hours of Wednesday and Thursday, people living in the Pacific Northwest will be able to spot the waning crescent moon as it passes by Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Point a pair of binoculars low above the southeastern horizon about 3.5 hours before sunrise for your best glimpse.
Jupiter and Saturn will remain our “morning planets” through the end of May. Both gas giants will start emerging during the evenings starting in June—Mars will return to evening skies starting mid-July.
Perhaps you’ve noticed an extra bright “star” in the evening? It’s actually the planet Venus which is the third-brightest object in the sky right now (behind the sun and moon). Jim Todd, the director of Space Science Education at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industries, said Venus’ thick clouds reflect about 70% of the sunlight that reaches it. Venus is also Earth’s closest planetary neighbor!