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  • June 29, 2020

Planets visible to the naked eye - June 29, 2020

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

From June 29 to July 13, 2020

Mercury is presently too close to the Sun and is not visible. The tiny planet passes between Earth and the Sun (inferior conjunction) on June 30, after which it will reappear gradually in the morning sky. It will be visible at dawn, above the east-northeast horizon, from mid-July to the first week of August.

Venus passed between Earth and the Sun (inferior conjunction) on June 3, and is now easy to see in the morning sky. It shines brightly low in the east-northeast, about 90 minutes before sunrise. From July 5 to 12, at the end of the night and at dawn, Venus passes through the Hyades, a vast, V-shaped group of stars visible to the naked eye in the constellation Taurus; binoculars will enhance this spectacular sight! On July 11 and 12, the Morning Star is less than one degree from bright Aldebaran, the Alpha star of Taurus. On the morning of July 17, Venus is occulted (hidden) by the thin, waning crescent Moon hangs 2 ½ degrees to the upper left of Venus.

Mars emerges above the eastern horizon after 1:00 a.m. At dawn, the Red Planet stands more than 35 degrees high in the southeast. On July 11 and 12, at the end of the night and at dawn, the waning gibbous Moon shines near Mars.

Jupiter is visible low in the southeast after 11 p.m. Around 2:30 a.m., the bright Giant Planet culminates about 23 degrees high in the south. Note the presence of Saturn, a few degrees to its lower left. On the morning of July 6, the waning gibbous Moon draws a large triangle with Saturn and Jupiter, both located above.

Saturn is visible very low in the southeast after 11 p.m., a few degrees to the lower left of bright Jupiter. Around 3:00 a.m., Saturn culminates about 24 degrees high in the south, just to the left of Jupiter. On the morning of July 6, the waning gibbous Moon draws a large triangle with Saturn and Jupiter, both located above.

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