Here’s how you can see all the planets in our solar system this week
PUBLISHED: 10:09 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:27 07 September 2018
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An overlapping period of visibility means that lucky sky gazers could catch all eight planets in our solar system in one night.
This week is your chance to see a sky full of planets - but it won’t necessarily be easy. What you’ll need to do is check the exact sunrise and sunset time for your area, have a compass on hand, and refer to this planet guide. If you feel like something’s missing, remember Pluto isn’t counted as a planet anymore.
It’s possible to see Mercury around 45 minutes before sunrise until Sunday. Look out for it low in the east-northeastern sky, around 7 degrees above the horizon, and you may just see a small yellowy light – that will be Mercury.
Venus will be visible and very bright this week low immediately after sunset in the southwest sky, around 10 degrees above the horizon.
Mars is 93pc illuminated this week so it’s a great time to spot it. The so-called red planet will be in the southeast sky at about 15 degrees above the horizon.
Jupiter should be visible in the sky just after sunset at about 20 degrees above the horizon. If you view the planet with binoculars you should also be able to see the planet’s four largest moons: Europa, Callisto, Ganymede an Io.
Saturn is visible to the naked eye if you look around 25 degrees above the southern horizon at night this week. If you want to see the planet’s rings you’ll need a telescope.
You’ll only be able to see Uranus when its visible at midnight if you have a telescope, it will only look like a tiny turquoise dot.
Neptune, being the furthest planet, will appear the highest in the sky. Like Uranus you’ll only be able to see it with a telescope. It’s closest and therefore most visible Friday. It will only be a small blue dot even with the aid of equipment so you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled.
Will you been spotting planets this week? Let us know in the comments.
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