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 September 18 to October 2, 2023
Mercury is undergoing a fine apparition in the morning sky until mid-October. At dawn, 45 minutes before sunrise, look for a tiny dot of light just above the horizon, almost due east.
Venus is the dazzling Morning Star that appears above the eastern horizon three hours before sunrise. At the start of civil dawn, Venus shines brightly some 30 degrees high. On the morning of October 10, the thin waning crescent Moon hangs 6 degrees to the upper left of the Morning Star.
Mars is now lost in the glare of sunset and cannot be seen. The Red Planet passes behind the Sun (conjunction) on November 18 and will emerge at dawn in early 2024.
Jupiter is a beacon in the sky during the second half of the night. The Giant Planet emerges above the east-northeast horizon around 9 p.m., and shines intensely some 60 degrees high in the south around 3:30 a.m. On the evening of October 1, the waning gibbous Moon rises 2 degrees above Jupiter, but the gap increases during the following hours.
Saturn appears above the southeast horizon at dusk, culminates 32 degrees high in the south around 11 p.m., and sinks below the west-southwest horizon around 4 a.m. During the evening and night of September 26 to 27 the waxing gibbous Moon pairs up with Saturn and comes within 3 degrees of the Ringed Planet.