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WeatherTalk: The southwestern sky is an evening planetary show

Look southwest right after dark and you will see Jupiter, Saturn and Venus in a row.

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Three planets; Jupiter, Saturn and Venus; have been putting on a beautiful show in the southwestern sky on clear evenings lately. Look southwest right after dark and you will see Jupiter, Saturn and Venus in a row. from upper left to lower right. Next week, the waxing crescent moon will insert itself into the scene, creating a brilliant scene in the sky. If the weather is clear, observers will be able to see the orbs as they change positions each evening. The moon, closest to Earth, will change positions the most on a daily basis.

By the last week of December, Jupiter and Venus will have moved down and to the right of Saturn, and the planet Mercury will have joined the scene. However, it will take an unobstructed view of the horizon to see Mercury and Venus as they will be very close to setting at sunset and only visible for a half hour or so.

John Wheeler is Chief Meteorologist for WDAY, a position he has had since May of 1985. Wheeler grew up in the South, in Louisiana and Alabama, and cites his family's move to the Midwest as important to developing his fascination with weather and climate. Wheeler lived in Wisconsin and Iowa as a teenager. He attended Iowa State University and achieved a B.S. degree in Meteorology in 1984. Wheeler worked about a year at WOI-TV in central Iowa before moving to Fargo and WDAY..
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