Mercury, Venus, Jupiter in the evening sky, May 2013
This evening, and for the next few evenings, just as the sky begins to darken after sunset, you’ve got a chance to see three of the five naked-eye planets side by side.
The two brightest naked eye planets (Venus and Jupiter) are close together, separated by only a few degrees, closing to 1° on 28 May (in what we call a conjunction). This should make them very easy to spot, low in the NW from around 30 minutes after sunset. In fact they’re close enough together that you could fit them both in one binocular field of view.
Mercury, however, might be trickier to spot. As the faintest naked-eye planet it will lurk in the twilight sky unseen for many people, just above the two brighter planets.
Remember, if you’re observing with binoculars or a telescope make sure you wait until the Sun has fully set