Why are planets called planets? At best, given all those conditions, you’ll see a hazy, glowing patch of sky about the size of half the moon. Saturn is very close to Jupiter throughout 2020 and 2021 and is visible at very similar times throughout the year. So, what “the summer sky” means is really only “the summer night sky.”). Privacy & Terms, Planets Visible in the Night Sky in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. The two planets will be low in the southwest sky as darkness falls and will set less than 2.5 hours after sunset. But if you’ve ever looked up and seen the dusty, diamond path of the Milky Way strewn across the heavens, you’ve seen part of the galaxy we call home. Currently low in the sky and telescopically small. After May 15, Mars's increase in brightness will start becoming more noticeable: By June 1 it will reach zero magnitude while cruising through Aquarius the Water Carrier, shining low in the southeast sky during the predawn hours. Actually, you’ll be seeing the sun a few moments after it actually sets, because the atmosphere bends its rays around the Earth’s curvature. The best time to skywatch for other stuff (stars and planets) is on nights when the moon rises after midnight or sets before the end of twilight. Were Polaris directly overhead—90 degrees up—you would know you were at 90 degrees north latitude, which is the North Pole. All four of Jupiter's famous Galilean satellites will also be on display, while the north face of Saturn’s rings will be tilted 21.3 degrees toward Earth. Looking for rise and set times for the Sun? Jupiter and Saturn are both visible for about three hours before sunrise, with the last quarter Moon passing them both from the 3rd to the 5th. Only thing that changes is what planets you can see tonight. A beautiful thinning crescent through the eyepiece. Bottom line: November 2020 presents 3 bright planets in the evening sky: Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, plus 2 bright planets in the morning sky: Venus and Mercury. Jupiter Reaches opposition on 14 July. On average, these two planets come as close as this about every 300 years, though the last time dates back to July 16th, 1623! It will be visible in the evening sky from July 20 to Dec. 31. Visible around sunrise and sunset only. Saturn is the most distant planet known to the ancients. Try finding a good, unobstructed view of the horizon. Venus Dramatic evening planet. –1.1 and 14.5 arcseconds across by 31 July. Saturn A morning object, outshone by Jupiter to the west. The calculator can display times for locations across the U.S. and Canada; simply input your ZIP or Postal code above to see times for your location. That same steep angle of the sun’s path as it sets is what makes nightfall so sudden in the tropics, just as the shallow angle of the setting sun around here is what makes Northern Michigan’s summer twilight so long. Through most of 2020, the king of the planets will be situated against the star background of Sagittarius, the Archer, where it will remain until mid-December, then it will move into the boundaries of the constellation Capricornus the Sea Goat. Very faint, use binoculars. Unfortunately, the other thing you need to know is longitude, which is somewhat more difficult. It appears yellow-white to the naked eye, like pale gold. They orbit very rapidly, so their positions change from night to night—a phenomenon which is fascinating all by itself. It will then be visible in the evening sky until early January 2021, and returns to the morning sky in mid February. A bright star called “Capella,” which is about 45 degrees from the north star, swings low enough once a day to just touch the horizon, and 12 hours later passes just about directly overhead. It used to serve as an eye test. Mercury Morning planet best seen mid-month. The first quarter Moon is to the lower right of Saturn on the 13th and will then appear close to Jupiter on the 14th and 15th. The pair will fit within the same binocular view from about the 2nd to the 22nd with the waxing crescent Moon close by on the 11th and 12th. Jupiter and Saturn are about to meet in the sky. It has seven siblings, other planets that also orbit the Sun. As the slowest moving planet, it takes nearly 165 years to complete an orbit of the Sun and therefore spends nearly fourteen years in each constellation. The best time to view Venus in the evening sky in 2020 will come between the time of its greatest angular distance (elongation) east of the Sun on March 24 and its greatest brilliancy on April 27. If the planet is close to the horizon it will glimmer with a multitude of different colors, making it a very conspicuous sight. As a morning star, it appears in the eastern sky rising about an hour before the Sun. VenusBright, well positioned evening planet. Saturn Evening planet located east of Jupiter. When visible, it appears as a brilliant white “star” for months on end and can be a very pretty sight when the Moon is nearby. Saturn Located just east of Jupiter and well placed despite low altitude when due south.