Planets visible to the naked eye
From July 13 to 27, 2020
Mercury passed between Earth and the Sun (inferior conjunction) on June 30, and is reappearing gradually in the morning sky. The tiny planet will be visible at dawn from mid-July to the first week of August. Binoculars will help you locate it low in the east-northeast, 30 minutes before sunrise. Mercury is quite faint and difficult to see against the brightening sky at the start of this viewing period, but it gradually brightens with each passing day.
Venus is the dazzling Morning Star that shines brightly in the east after 3:00 a.m. and until sunrise. On the morning of July 17, the thin, waning crescent Moon hangs 2 ½ degrees to the upper left of Venus.
Mars, now very bright, emerges above the eastern horizon after midnight. At dawn, the Red Planet stands about 45 degrees high in the south-southeast. During the night of August 8 to 9, the waning gibbous Moon glides within one degree below Mars.
Jupiter is at opposition on July 14. The bright Giant Planet appears in the southeast during evening twilight, culminates in the middle of the night (around 1:00 a.m.) about 22 degrees high in the south, and vanishes in the southwest at dawn. Note the presence of Saturn, a few degrees to its left. During the night of August 1 to 2, the waxing gibbous Moon draws a large triangle with Saturn and Jupiter, both located above.
Saturn is at opposition on July 20. The Ringed Planet emerges in the southeast during evening twilight, a few degrees to the left of bright Jupiter. Around 1:00 a.m., Saturn culminates about 24 degrees high in the south, and disappears in the southwest at dawn. During the night of August 1 to 2, the waxing gibbous Moon draws a large triangle with Saturn and Jupiter, both located above.