Objects in your sky: Planets

by Dominic Ford

The visibility of the planets on

From location

Ashburn
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Rise16:49
Set01:29

The Moon is 9 days old, waxing gibbous, and recently passed first quarter. From Ashburn, it is visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 19:17 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 21° above your south-eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 21:36, 29° above your southern horizon. It will continue to be observable until around 01:37, when it sinks below 8° above your south-western horizon.

23 Sep 2020  –  Moon at First Quarter
28 Sep 2020  –  The Moon at aphelion
01 Oct 2020  –  Full Moon
03 Oct 2020  –  The Moon at apogee
Rise09:12
Set19:50

Mercury is emerging into the evening sky as it approaches greatest elongation east. From Ashburn, it is not observable – it will reach its highest point in the sky during daytime and is no higher than 3° above the horizon at dusk.

18 Sep 2020  –  Mercury at aphelion
01 Oct 2020  –  Mercury at greatest elongation east
06 Oct 2020  –  Mercury at dichotomy
25 Oct 2020  –  Mercury at inferior solar conjunction
Rise03:37
Set17:16

Venus is visible as a morning object, having recently passed greatest elongation west. From Ashburn, it is visible in the dawn sky, rising at 03:39 (EDT) – 3 hours and 25 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 35° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:46.

07 Sep 2020  –  Venus reaches highest point in morning sky
30 Oct 2020  –  Venus at perihelion
20 Feb 2021  –  Venus at aphelion
26 Mar 2021  –  Venus at superior solar conjunction
Rise20:02
Set08:54

Mars is currently approaching opposition and is visible as a morning object. From Ashburn, it is visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 20:47, when it rises to an altitude of 8° above your eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 02:30, 57° above your southern horizon. It will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:46, 23° above your western horizon.

23 Aug 2020  –  Mars 2020: a great chance to see the red planet
06 Oct 2020  –  Mars at perigee
13 Oct 2020  –  Mars at opposition
12 Jul 2021  –  Mars at aphelion
Rise15:18
Set00:49

Jupiter is currently an early evening object, now receding into evening twilight. From Ashburn, it is visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 19:17 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 27° above your southern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 20:01, 28° above your southern horizon. It will continue to be observable until around 23:52, when it sinks below 8° 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
Rise15:45
Set01:27

Saturn is currently an early evening object, now receding into evening twilight. From Ashburn, it is visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 19:30 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 27° above your southern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 20:34, 29° above your southern horizon. It will continue to be observable until around 00:19, when it sinks below 10° 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
Rise20:24
Set10:09

Uranus is currently approaching opposition and is visible as a morning object. From Ashburn, it is visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 22:19, when it rises to an altitude of 21° above your eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 03:18, 65° above your southern horizon. It will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:00, 47° above your south-western horizon.

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
Rise18:20
Set05:55

Neptune is currently approaching opposition and is visible as a morning object. From Ashburn, it is visible between 20:22 and 03:53. It will become accessible around 20:22, when it rises to an altitude of 21° above your south-eastern horizon. It will reach its highest point in the sky at 00:10, 45° above your southern horizon. It will become inaccessible around 03:53 when it sinks below 22° above your south-western horizon.

11 Sep 2020  –  Neptune at opposition
10 Mar 2021  –  Neptune at solar conjunction
14 Sep 2021  –  Neptune at opposition
13 Mar 2022  –  Neptune at solar conjunction

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39.04°N
77.49°W
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