6 Planets Will Be Visible for 12 Days Straight—Here’s When You Need to Be Outside

published Jul 27, 2020
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The night sky has no boundaries. Many note-worthy astronomical events have been attention-worthy this month, and now you have one more to add to your calendar: an almost two-week long period when you can visibly see six planets in the sky.

Starting on the evening of July 28, 2020, six planets will be fairly visible in the night sky that gives you a good chance of seeing them. Timeanddate.com, a time zone-related website, has an interactive Night Sky Map that reveals Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus will all be at least partially visible in the sky—leaving Neptune to be the only planet marked as “difficult to see.”

For the following 11 nights, these same planets will remain visible for you to go on a stargazing binge (or, more flexibility to pick the night that works best for you). According to the chart, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus will have “perfect visibility,” while Venus has “great visibility” and Uranus has “average visibility.”

The only planet that might require some binoculars—although a pair always helps, even with the highly visible planets—is Mercury. This comes as no surprise though. “Mercury will be very faint, as it is quite small, so you should probably use binoculars or a simple telescope,” Edward Angelo Cerullo, part of the team at timeanddate.com, told Apartment Therapy.

Cerullo also added some helpful tips on seeing the other planets as well. “[Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn] are all small, compared to the vastness of the sky, so binoculars or a simple telescope would probably be the best tool to see them,” he wrote. “Mars has a distinct tinge of red. Jupiter and Saturn are larger than Mars, and they move together across the sky, with Saturn on the left and Jupiter on the right.”

After toggling around with the tool and different geographic locations across the U.S., it looks like anyone in the country—from California to Maine—will have a chance of seeing this six planets from July 28 until August 8, 2020. Time to get your binoculars ready!