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Planets visible to the naked eye

  • Photo: Marc Jobin
    Planets visible to the naked eye

    Here's a look at the planets that will be observable with the naked eye in the coming days. Follow these guidelines to find out where and when to look for them.

    From July 8 to 22, 2024

    Mercury is visible in the evening sky until July 28. Look for the tiny planet low in the west-northwest, 30 minutes after sunset. Mercury's brightness gradually diminishes with each passing evening, and the planet becomes harder to spot toward the end of this apparition.

    Venus passed behind the Sun (superior conjunction) on June 4 and gradually reappears as the Evening star after mid-July. Look for the planet very low in the west-northwest, 30 minutes after sunset.

    Mars is readily visible during the last hours of the night until dawn. The Red Planet emerges in the east-northeast after 2:00 a.m. One hour before sunrise, it can be found due east, almost 30 degrees above the horizon. The waning crescent Moon hangs 4 degrees to the upper left of Mars on the morning of July 30; Jupiter also shines nearby.

    Jupiter is now plainly visible at the end of the night and at dawn. The bright Giant Planet rises in the east-northeast after 3:00 a.m. and shines more than 15 degrees above the horizon one hour before sunrise. The waning crescent Moon hangs 8 degrees above Jupiter on the morning of July 30 and 7 ½ degrees to the left of the planet the next morning, July 31; Mars also shines nearby.

    Saturn is easy to during the second half of the night and at dawn. The Ringed Planet emerges above the eastern horizon around 12:00 a.m. At dawn, one hour before sunrise, Saturn culminates about 38 degrees high in the south. The waning gibbous Moon will appear near Saturn during the night of July 24 to 25, and again during the night of July 25 to 26.

     

    See also

    Monthly Sky

    The Pocket Planetarium

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