October 2012 Guide to the Five Visible Planets
It’s near dawn in Kansas and Venus is visible just above the tops of the trees to the East.
Three planets are clearly visible in October 2012. Mars appears low in the southwest after sunset. Jupiter rises in the east-northeast around mid-evening, and Venus rises in the east before dawn. If you live at southerly latitudes, you may even catch the planets Mercury and Saturn below Mars at dusk or early evening.
The two dominant planets in October 2012 are Venus and Jupiter, and both of these brilliant beauties will be putting on quite a show all month. Watch for Venus to pair up with Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo, before sunrise on Wednesday October 3, and for the waning crescent moon to couple up with Venus on Friday, October 12.
Also watch for the waning gibbous moon to march across the sky with Jupiter on the nights of October 4, 5 and 6. Circle these dates on your calendar, so you don’t miss out!