LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - If you look to the eastern sky before sunrise tomorrow, you will be able to see three planets in the sky.
Without binoculars or a telescope, planets look like stars. Venus will be the brightest object in the sky and should be easy to spot. Just to the left of Venus, you will be able to see a dimmer Saturn. And a bit farther to the south and much closer to the horizon Mercury will be visible.
When two or more planets appear to line up in the sky or come in close contact with each other it is called a planetary conjunction. During a conjunction, planets do not physically become close to one another, they just appear that way from earth.
The sun, moon, and planets all travel across the sky along the same path called the Ecliptic. Because of this, conjunctions are not rare events but are still interesting to see.
Venus and Saturn will be at their closest apparent proximity to each other on Tuesday morning. But if you can't get out, the three planets will be visible in the morning sky through the rest of 2012. Saturn and Venus will just travel increasingly farther apart.
Jupiter will also be visible through the overnight hours and will be low in the western sky before dawn.
More information can be found at EarthSky.org at http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/visible-planets-tonight-mars-jupiter-venus-saturn-mercury
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