Objects in your sky: Planets

by Dominic Ford

The visibility of the planets on

From location

Ashburn
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Rise23:33
Set12:38

The Moon is a 21-day-old waning crescent, and recently passed last quarter. From Ashburn, it is visible in the dawn sky, rising at 23:34 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 61° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:02.

09 Aug 2020  –  The Moon at apogee
11 Aug 2020  –  Moon at Last Quarter
18 Aug 2020  –  New Moon
20 Aug 2020  –  The Moon at perihelion
Rise05:39
Set19:54

Mercury will soon pass behind the Sun. From Ashburn, it is not readily observable since it is very close to the Sun, at a separation of only 7° from it.

05 Aug 2020  –  Mercury at perihelion
17 Aug 2020  –  Mercury at superior solar conjunction
18 Sep 2020  –  Mercury reaches highest point in evening sky
18 Sep 2020  –  Mercury at aphelion
Rise02:51
Set17:15

Venus is emerging into the morning sky as it approaches greatest elongation west. From Ashburn, it is visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:51 (EDT) – 3 hours and 31 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 35° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:02.

10 Jul 2020  –  Venus at aphelion
12 Aug 2020  –  Venus at dichotomy
13 Aug 2020  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
07 Sep 2020  –  Venus reaches highest point in morning sky
Rise22:59
Set11:38

Mars is currently approaching opposition and is visible as a morning object. From Ashburn, it is visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 23:43, when it rises to an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 05:20, 55° above your southern horizon. It will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:02, 54° above your southern horizon.

03 Aug 2020  –  Mars at perihelion
06 Oct 2020  –  Mars at perigee
13 Oct 2020  –  Mars at opposition
12 Jul 2021  –  Mars at aphelion
Rise18:27
Set04:01

Jupiter recently passed opposition. From Ashburn, it is visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 20:29 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 17° above your south-eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 23:12, 28° above your southern horizon. It will continue to be observable until around 03:08, when it sinks below 7° above your south-western horizon.

14 Jul 2020  –  Jupiter at opposition
28 Jan 2021  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
19 Aug 2021  –  Jupiter at opposition
05 Mar 2022  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
Rise18:56
Set04:41

Saturn is currently approaching opposition and is visible as a morning object. From Ashburn, it is visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 20:42 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 15° above your south-eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 23:46, 29° above your southern horizon. It will continue to be observable until around 03:35, when it sinks below 9° above your south-western horizon.

20 Jul 2020  –  Saturn at opposition
23 Jan 2021  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
02 Aug 2021  –  Saturn at opposition
04 Feb 2022  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
Rise23:30
Set13:17

Uranus is currently emerging from behind the Sun. From Ashburn, it is visible in the dawn sky, rising at 23:30 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 59° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:10.

26 Apr 2020  –  Uranus at solar conjunction
31 Oct 2020  –  Uranus at opposition
30 Apr 2021  –  Uranus at solar conjunction
04 Nov 2021  –  Uranus at opposition
Rise21:28
Set09:06

Neptune is currently approaching opposition and is visible as a morning object. From Ashburn, it is visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 23:30, when it rises to an altitude of 21° above your south-eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 03:19, 46° above your southern horizon. It will be lost to dawn twilight around 05:10, 39° above your south-western horizon.

08 Mar 2020  –  Neptune at solar conjunction
11 Sep 2020  –  Neptune at opposition
10 Mar 2021  –  Neptune at solar conjunction
14 Sep 2021  –  Neptune at opposition

Ashburn

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39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

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