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Planet Viewing

Mercury

The Sun’s closest planet is in the evening sky in January, May, September (although barely), and late December. It appears in the morning sky in late February-early March, July, and late October-early November.

Venus

The brilliant planet starts 2021 as the Morning Star, shining during morning twilight until late January or early February. It then disappears from view as it passes behind the Sun as seen from Earth. It returns to view as the Evening Star in late April or early May and remains in the evening sky through the end of the year.

Mars

Orange Mars begins the year in the evening sky, high in the southeast, where it looks like a bright star. It slowly fades and moves westward, disappearing in the twilight in July. It returns to view in the dawn sky around Thanksgiving.

Jupiter

The largest planet in the solar system and the third-brightest object in the night sky shines at its best in August, when it is brightest and is in view all night.

Saturn

The ringed planet shines brightest this year in July, as it moves through Capricornus.

 

Uranus

The seventh planet is at its brightest in late October and early November, when it barely reaches naked-eye visibility. Most skywatchers will need optical aid to spot it, though.

Neptune