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  • July 27, 2020

Planets visible to the naked eye - July 27, 2020

  • Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan
Photo: Sophie Desrosiers
Planets visible to the naked eye

From July 27 to August 10, 2020

Mercury is visible at dawn until the end of the first week of August. You’ll find the tiny planet low in the east-northeast, 45 minutes before sunrise will be. Binoculars will help you locate it, but Mercury is presently bright enough to be an easy catch with the naked eye. The separation between Mercury and the Sun is shrinking from day to day, and we lose sight of it in the glare of approaching sunrise after August 10.

Venus is the dazzling Morning Star that shines brightly in the east after 3:00 a.m. and until sunrise. On the morning of August 15, the thin, waning crescent Moon hangs 3 ½ degrees to the upper left of Venus.

Mars, now very bright, emerges above the eastern horizon after 11:30 p.m. At dawn, the Red Planet culminates about 45 degrees high in the south. During the night of August 8 to 9, the waning gibbous Moon glides within one degree below Mars.

Jupiter was at opposition on July 14. The bright Giant Planet appears above the southeast horizon during evening twilight, culminates around 11:30 p.m. some 22 degrees high in the south, and vanishes in the southwest at dawn. Note the presence of Saturn, a few degrees to its left. During the night of August 1 to 2, the waxing gibbous Moon draws a large triangle with Saturn and Jupiter.

Saturn was at opposition on July 20. The Ringed Planet appears above the southeast horizon during evening twilight, a few degrees to the left of bright Jupiter. Saturn culminates about 24 degrees high in the south around midnight, and disappears in the southwest at dawn. During the night of August 1 to 2, the waxing gibbous Moon draws a large triangle with Saturn and Jupiter.

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