This evening, Saturday 1 June, look westward shortly after sunset to see three planets arranged in a diagonal line – from ‘top to bottom’ – Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter as this graphic shows.
Click on image to see it full size
As the sky darkens and the planets are setting grab your binoculars or telescope and take a closer look at Mercury. This innermost planet is very close to the open star cluster M-35
, also described as NGC-2168
, located near the feet of the Gemini Twins. Just below M-35 is a fainter and more compact open star cluster NGC-2158
. Click on this image to see it full size and as an animated zoom in showing more detail.
Celestial objects with the letter ‘M’ preceding the number refers to objects observed and catalog by the French astronomer Charles Messier. Objects having the letters ‘NGC’ preceding the number refer to objects that are listed in the New General Catalog of celestial objects.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.