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SUNSET PLANETS: The planets are aligning for a beautiful sunset sky show. Last night on the Atlantic coast of Portugal, Miguel Claro photographed Venus, Mars and Saturn all in a row:
"The planets were beautifully arrayed over the Costa da Caparica," says Claro. "Even the bright lights of Lisbon (lower right in the full-sized photo) could not spoil the show."
Tonight the crescent Moon joins the show. It will appear beside Venus at the end of the line. For the rest of the week, the Moon will planet-hop from Venus to Mars to Saturn on successive nights.
Last night, the crescent Moon passed by Venus, producing a conjunction of such beauty it stopped traffic. "I was driving on Interstate 70 to Grand Junction, Colorado, when I noticed the conjunction." says Malcom Park. "I just had to stop for a better look." He snapped this picture from the banks of the Colorado River:
The show continues tonight as the Moon moves past Venus to form a isosceles triangle with Saturn and Mars. Scanning the vertices with a backyard telescope will quickly reveal mountains and craters on the Moon, the rings of Saturn, and the red disk of Mars. No telescope is required, however, to enjoy the show. Your eyes are all you need. Look west at sunset!