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Planet Viewing


The Sun’s closest planet is at its best this year in the dawn sky in late November, and in the evening sky in early February. It puts in lesser morning appearances from mid-March through mid-April and in late July, and evening appearances from mid-May to mid-June and September through the middle of October.


The brilliant planet starts 2020 as the Evening Star, shining during and after evening twilight until late May. It then disappears from view as it passes between Earth and the Sun. It returns to view as the Morning Star in early to mid June and remains in the evening sky through the end of the year.


Orange Mars begins the year in the morning sky, low in the dawn twilight. It slowly brightens and moves farther from the Sun until it reaches opposition in October, when it shines brightest and is in view all night. For a few weeks, it will outshine Jupiter.


The largest planet in the solar system, and usually the brightest object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus, shines at its best in July, when it is brightest and is in the sky all night.


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



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.