Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn will all be visible without a telescope this weekend

by Bryan Brammer · Jul 18th, 2020 12:15 pm

Last Updated Jul 18th, 2020 at 11:01 pm

Five planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn — and the crescent moon will be visible from Earth without the use of a telescope early Sunday morning.

Dr. Jeffrey Hunt, who received his Master's degree in astronomy education and sky interpretation at Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University, wrote that all five planets and the moon will be simultaneously visible to the naked eye approximately 45 minutes before sunrise.

Hunt advises those wishing to see this phenomenon to "find a spot with clear horizons in the east-northeast and the southwest."

How to recognize and distinguish the planets:

  • Jupiter will already be visible two hours before sunrise in the southwestern sky
  • Saturn will be positioned above Jupiter to the right
  • Mars will be visible in the southeastern horizon
  • Venus will be located in the eastern sky
  • Mercury will be to the right of the moon — which will be positioned very low in the east-northeast

Although a telescope won't be necessary, binoculars will allow onlookers to locate the moon as a frame of reference.

Visit When the Curves Line Up to learn more.


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