Planets visible to the naked eye
From August 14 to 28, 2017
Mercury is too close to the sun and is not visible. The tiny planet passes between earth and the sun (inferior conjunction) on August 26; it will reappear at dawn, low in the east, during the first week of September.
Venus is the bright Morning Star, visible above the east-northeast horizon at the end of the night and at dawn; Venus rises about three hours before the sun. On the morning of August 19, the thin lunar crescent will hang just 4 degrees below Venus.
Mars passed behind the sun (conjunction) on July 26, but it remains too close to the sun and is not easily observable presently. The red planet gradually reappears in the morning sky in late August/early September: using binoculars, look for it at dawn, 30 minutes before sunrise, very low above the east-northeast horizon.
Jupiter is getting closer to the sun and appears lower and lower in the sky at nightfall. The bright planet comes into view at dusk some 15 degrees high in the west-southwest, and then gradually descends toward the western horizon where it sets after 9 p.m. Bright star Spica shines with a bluish-white tint a few degrees to the left of the giant planet. The crescent moon will appear near Jupiter on the evenings of August 24 and 25.
Saturn appears at dusk, 22 degrees above the southern horizon, and vanishes in the southwest around midnight. The waxing gibbous moon will appear near the Ringed Planet on the evenings of August 29 and 30.
Solar eclipse on August 21! (Total in the USA, partial in Quebec and Canada)