See Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter Align on Thanksgiving

Three planets over the La Silla Observatory in Chile.
Three planets over the La Silla Observatory in Chile. / PHOTO: European Southern Observatory, Flickr // CC BY 2.0. ILLUSTRATION: JUSTIN DODD/MENTAL FLOSS

Astronomy lovers have a lot to be thankful for in 2021. This year brought us impressive meteor showers, super moons, and eclipses of the solar and lunar varieties. On Thanksgiving, star-gazers can be grateful for a trio of planets lining up in the night sky. Here's what you need to know to see Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter together on Thursday, November 25.

How to See the Trio of Planets Align

The planets Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter are visible with the naked eye for much of the year. In late November, you'll have a chance to see all three bodies getting cozy in the same part of the sky.

Take a break between turkey and pie on Thanksgiving to look up after sunset. The planetary formation will appear above the southern horizon shining brighter than any of the surrounding stars. Venus will be easiest to spot, with Jupiter being slightly less bright and Saturn being the dimmest of the three. You don't need a telescope to see the trio, but finding a dark area and giving your eyes time to adjust to the night will make the planets appear especially clear.

A Multi-Night Event for Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn 

Thanksgiving is the best night to see the celestial show, but not everyone will have an easy time leaving the dinner table. If you'd rather look for the planets on a quieter night, they will stick around the same relative area for several days. They will appear the closest together on November 25, but the formation will still be worth checking out into early December the following week.