Seeing the Planets
Name: wildman jackson
Date: 1993 - 1999
Can someone tell me where and when to look in the night sky to see
the planets? I've been wanting to know this for a while now.
Yes. "Sky and Telescope" magazine will give you a monthly update.
As you've apparently noted, there's not much to see these days. Venus
and Mars are lost in the glare of the sun (that is, our line of sight to these
planets passes too close to the sun for us to be able to see them) and Saturn,
low in the west at sunset, will soon follow suit. Mercury is supposed to be visi ble in the west
at sunset (I haven't been able to find it so far) but is also rapidly fading.
Jupiter rises in the southeast at around 1:30 in the morning and should be
visible after then until dawn. Fortunately, its rise time is getting earlier an d earlier. Of course,
the above info will be outdated and totally useless before long; your best bet
is to take J Lu's suggestion; Sky & Telescope (or Astronomy) magazine, often
found at the local public library, will tell you precisely where and when to loo k for the planets, as
well as other astronomical events.
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Update: June 2012