JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, now is one of the best times of year to see Mars, Jupiter and Saturn all at once. If you are up early over the next few days- look east before dawn. The three planets are grouped together, and an added bonus: on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday a slim crescent moon is also close by.
By next week, Mars passes just below Jupiter, and then the following week, Mars will be just below Saturn.
While you are out there, looking up, check out Sirius, nicknamed the “dog star” because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major. Sirius is so bright in our sky because it is one of the closest stars to our sun. To find Sirius, face South and look for Orion, easy to find for the three bright stars in a straight line, the straight line formed by the stars point downward, towards Sirius.
NASA’s Voyager 2 Spacecraft is headed (roughly in stellar and galactic terms,) in Sirius’ direction, in about 300,000 years the spacecraft will pass within 4.3 light years of the star.