Watch Moon and 3 Planets Shine Before Dawn This Weekend - Stargazers will be able to see a remarkable gathering of three bright planets and a waning crescent moon in the predawn sky this weekend.
On Nov. 7, 3 of these objects - Mars, Venus and the moon ? will appear to crowd into a relatively small spot in the sky. The moon will be aligned with the stunning Venus, what would be the "nightlight of the early morning" and much dimmer Mars.
The moon will shine less than two degrees to the right of Venus on Saturday morning. The pumpkin-colored Mars will shine above the Venus and Moon and Mars will be shining with only 1/250th of the intensity of Venus.
It must be noted that it is very rare when three or more bright planets and the moon appear to reside in the same small area of the sky. Each of these planets seems to move against the starry background along their own tracks and speeds. It is obvious that since they are continuously moving at different speed, the positions of all the 5 planets at any particular time are unique to that particular moment.
All of the naked eye planets and the moon closely follow an imaginary line in the sky called the ecliptic. The ecliptic is also the apparent path that the sun seems to take through the sky as a result of the Earth's revolution around it.
The ecliptic symbolizes the extension or projection of the plane of the earth's orbit out towards the sky. But since the planets and moon move in orbits, whose planes do not differ greatly from that of the Earth's orbit, these bodies, when visible in our sky, always stay comparatively close to the ecliptic line.