Watching the Skies: Cassiopeia and Perseus constellations

Beyond the Forecast

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Sunsets continue to get earlier and earlier, which means there is more time to get out and enjoy some evening stargazing. 

For the rest of autumn, you’ll be able to use the bright constellation Cassiopeia to identify another less-bright constellation. The constellation Perseus is known as the radiant point for the Perseid meteor shower, but it can be hard to identify. 

Cassiopeia is brighter and easier to find. It takes a distinct “M” or “W” shape in the northeast during the evening at this time of year. The curved arrangement of stars that makes up Perseus is located just below Cassiopeia. 

While you’re out searching for constellations, you can try to identify some planets.

Mercury will be getting brighter over the next few days. The best time to spot Mercury is in the morning, about an hour before the sun rises. It will be low on the horizon in the east. 

Venus is still shining bright in the evening in the southwest. It will keep getting brighter over the next few months. 

Jupiter is bright in the south during the evening, and Saturn is the less-bright planet nearby. Look for Saturn just down and to the right of Jupiter. 

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