Look west after sunset for the young moon’s return around September 8, 2021. Watch day by day as the waxing crescent sweeps past Venus and moves closer to Antares, Heart of Scorpius the Scorpion. Courtesy EarthSky.org
Planet Jupiter shines with startling brilliance above the southeast horizon in evening twilight. The great planet, orbiting fifth out from the Sun in our solar system, could be mistaken for the light of an airplane flying low above the skyline. Jupiter (-2.83 magnitude) is the Evening Star rising in the southeast while dazzling planet Venus (-4.05m), is the Evening Star setting in the west-southwest during twilight. Note that the smaller the number the greater the magnitude of a celestial object. Sunset is, roughly, 7:15pm this week and 7:00pm next week. Twilight begins about half an hour later and, for nightfall, add another hour.
Saturn (0.34m), to the right, south, of Jupiter, seems a dim, copper-colored star at dusk. Jupiter’s reflected sunlight dwarfs the ringed planet, which increases in visibility as twilight deepens, although still markedly less luminous than Jupiter. The largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter orbits five times farther from the Sun than Earth, and Saturn is twice as far from the Sun as Jupiter, according to NASA https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/1230/cosmic-distances/ . We are challenged to grasp that our naked eye observation of side by side Jupiter, so bright, and Saturn, so modest, is, in part, a function of the vast space between the two planets. By the numbers, Jupiter is 466,734,232 miles from the Sun compared to Saturn at 924,340,700 miles. Earth is 93,760,363 miles from the Sun. https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/earth/overview/
This illustration shows the approximate sizes of the planets relative to each other, with brightness adjusted. Outward from the Sun, the planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, followed by the dwarf planet Pluto. Jupiter’s diameter is about 11 times that of the Earth’s and the Sun’s diameter is about 10 times Jupiter’s. Pluto’s diameter is slightly less than one-fifth of Earth’s. The planets are not shown at the appropriate distance from the Sun. https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/resources/686/solar-system-sizes/
Jupiter and Saturn can be observed all night, arcing from southeast to west-southwest where they set during the hours before dawn. When seen through the night, Jupiter simply appears to be an especially bright white star traveling in tandem with dimmer Saturn to its right.