Are you an avid stargazer? If so, you probably want to know when you can see not just the stars but the visible planets in our Solar System as well. These are sometimes referred to as the “naked-eye planets,” because you can see them with the naked eye — no telescope or binoculars needed. This handy guide gives you the dates for when you can see the planets throughout the year. This is one page you’ll want to bookmark!
When You Can See The Visible Planets in 2018
Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun in our Solar System. Because it is so close to the Sun, it is only observable in the early morning, just after sunrise, or at dusk. In fact, ancient Greek astronomers once believed Mercury was actually two separate objects. It usually appears as a bright “star” with a golden hue. As an evening star, appears in the western sky setting about an hour after the Sun; as a morning star, it appears in the eastern sky rising about an hour before the Sun.
Nickname: “The Swift Planet,” after the swift-footed Roman messenger god, Mercury, because it moves across the sky faster than any other planet.
When to see Mercury
April 22–May 13
August 19–September 4
December 8–29 (brightest and easiest to spot)
March 6–22 (brightest and easiest to spot)
June 28–July 19
October 23–November 13