Visible Planets – When and Where to View

Ever look at the Moon and see a bright star shining beside it? Chances are it’s a planet (usually Venus or Jupiter). Farmers’ Almanac teams up with expert astronomer Dean Regas for this go-to guide to tell you which visible planets are shining tonight (or tomorrow morning) and which direction to look. Spot the five naked-eye planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn—no telescope needed! We also explain how to see Uranus and Neptune through a telescope. (What about Pluto? This dwarf planet is tough to see, but if you’d like to learn more about it let us know.)

Bookmark this page and refer to it throughout the year!

All The Planets In Order

Did you ever recite the old phrase, “My very educated mother just served us nachos?” That saying can help you remember the order of the planets from closest to farthest from the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. The first letter of each word is the first letter of each planet.

Planets in order from the Sun, including dwarf planet, Pluto.
Here are the planets in their order from the Sun, including dwarf planet, Pluto. (Note: This illustration is not to scale. The distances between the planets are much greater.)

Visible Planets 2024

This monthly listing of the visible planets, viewing directions, and special sky events is followed by more information about each planet. (Tap on any of the planets listed above to go directly to each of those sections.)

Mark your calendar for two upcoming planet events:

1) Parade of Planets 2024 — The crescent Moon leads a parade of planets on 4th of July morning. (In fact, you may have an even better view before sunrise on July 3, 2024.) Jump to the details!

2) Venus will reappear as an “evening star” in the night sky in mid-July 2024.

July 2024

There will be seven visible planets in July 2024—five before sunrise and two after sunset:

Mercury: Just after sunset (west)

Venus: Last half of the month, after sunset (west) 

Mars: Before sunrise (east)

Jupiter: Before sunrise (east)

Saturn: Before sunrise (south)

Uranus: Before sunrise (east)

Neptune: Before sunrise (south)

July 3: Parade of Planets 2024. The crescent Moon, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars, Neptune, Saturn—even Pluto—will march in a row early this morning. Look east and to the south at approximately 4 a.m. local time. (The only two planets missing will be Mercury and Venus, which are on the other side of the Sun.)

While it is possible to see all of these planets together in the sky by mid-June, we recommend taking a gander on the early mornings of July 3, when the crescent Moon will lead the pack.

Up for a challenge? Watch for the Moon at 4 a.m. on June 24 (St. John’s Day), when it will hang in the sky right next to Pluto. (You won’t be able to see Pluto, but you can imagine it being right where the Moon is.) Then watch for the Moon again each morning until July 4. It will appear to run past each of the planets to the head of the parade!

July 30: Jupiter, Moon, Mars Triangle. Look east between 2 a.m. and sunrise. (On the following morning, July 31, the Moon will appear to the lower left of Jupiter.)

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August 2024

There will be six visible planets in August 2024:

Mercury: Not visible (too close to the Sun)

Venus: After sunset (west)

Mars: Before sunrise (east)

Jupiter: Before sunrise (east)

Saturn: Before sunrise (southwest)

Uranus: Before sunrise (east)

Neptune: Before sunrise (southwest)

August 5: Venus and the Moon (only one half of one degree apart). Look west at sunset. Note: This will be really tough to see. Make sure that there are no tall buildings or trees on the western horizon.

August 14: Mars “Kisses” Jupiter. Mars will be less than one degree above Jupiter. Look east between 2 a.m. and sunrise.

August 27: Mars, Moon, and Jupiter form a triangle. Look east from 1 a.m. until sunrise.

September 2024

There are seven visible planets in September 2024:

Mercury: Most of the month, just before sunrise (east)

Venus: After sunset (west)

Mars: Before sunrise (southeast)

Jupiter: Before sunrise (southeast)

Saturn: Before sunrise (west)

Uranus: Before sunrise (southeast)

Neptune: Before sunrise (west)

September 5: Venus and the Moon. (This one is tough to see. Look west immediately after sunset and be sure that there are not tall buildings or trees obstructing your view of the western horizon.)

September 23+24: Jupiter and the Moon. Look east after midnight. This is also great opportunity to see Jupiter during the day. Find the Moon in the morning sky and look to the right. You may see Jupiter shining through the blue sky.

September 25: Moon “Kisses” Mars. Look east from 2 a.m. until sunrise.

October 2024

There will be six visible planets in October 2024:

Mercury: Not visible (too close to the Sun)

Venus: After sunset (southwest)

Mars: Before Sunrise (southeast)

Jupiter: Before Sunrise (south)

Saturn: After sunset (southeast)

Uranus: Before sunrise (southwest)

Neptune: After sunset (southeast)

October 5: Venus and the Moon (This pairing will be tough to see. Look west immediately after sunset and be sure there are no tall buildings or trees on the western horizon.)

October 20: Jupiter and the Moon. Look east after 9:30 p.m. local time (until sunrise).

October 21: This is a great opportunity to spot Jupiter during the day. Look for the Moon in the southwest morning sky (before 10 a.m. local time). To the lower right you may see Jupiter shining through the blue sky. Later that evening, beginning at around 9:30pm you will see Jupiter rise in the east with the Moon. 

November 2024

There will be seven visible planets in November 2024:

Mercury: Just after sunset (southwest)

Venus: After sunset (southwest)

Mars: Before Sunrise (south)

Jupiter: After sunset (southeast)

Saturn: After sunset (southeast)

Uranus: Before sunrise (southwest)

Neptune: After sunset (southeast)

November 4 and 5: Venus and the Moon. (Tough to see. Look west immediately after sunset and be sure that there are no tall buildings or trees on the western horizon.)

November 16 and 17: Jupiter and the Moon in the evening sky. Look east approximately 6 pm local time until sunrise. The Moon will be to the right of Jupiter on November 16 and to the left of Jupiter on November 17.

November 22: Venus passes about one degree north of Nunki, a second-magnitude star in Sagittarius. Look southwest beginning at 5-6 p.m. local time.

December 2024

There will be seven visible planets in December 2024:

Mercury: Last half of the month, just before sunrise (southeast)

Venus: After sunset (southwest)

Mars: Before sunrise (southwest)

Jupiter: After sunset (east)

Saturn: After sunset (south)

Uranus: After sunset (southeast)

Neptune: After sunset (south)

December 3-5: Venus and the Moon. Look southwest from just before sunset (until about two hours after sunset). On December 3, the Moon will be below and to the right of Venus. On December 4, the Moon will be hanging directly under Venus. By December 5, the Moon will be to the upper left of Venus.

December 14: Jupiter and the Moon. Look east after sunset to see the Moon and Jupiter hanging side-by-side as they rise high together in the night sky.

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More About Each Planet

For easy reference, we included each planet’s specific viewing date ranges, times, and directions here—as well as more information. If you have any questions or would otherwise like more information, please tell us in the comments. Your questions will be answered by our expert astronomers.

Mercury: The Elusive Planet

When is Mercury visible in 2024?

  • July 8-29: Look west just after sunset.
  • August 30-September 19: Look east just before sunrise.
  • November 2-23: Look southwest just after sunset.
  • December 18-31: Look southeast just before sunrise. (These are the best days to see Mercury during morning hours in 2024.)

Mercury is the most elusive planet and is the toughest of the five naked eye planets to find in the night sky. It moves quickly from night to night, and it shifts from being visible in the morning sky to the evening sky in a matter of weeks.

In Roman mythology, Mercury was associated with the swift, fleet-footed messenger god. The planet lives up to the reputation of its namesake as the fastest planet, whipping around the Sun at an average speed of almost 106,000 miles per hour.

The main problem with finding Mercury is that it orbits very close to the Sun. That means Mercury is most often up in the sky at the same time as the Sun.

The only time you can find Mercury is when it appears farthest from the Sun (astronomers call this position of a planet its greatest elongation) while the Sun is still below the horizon.

To see Mercury when it is at its greatest eastern elongation, you will want to look to the western sky 15 minutes after sunset. It will be low in the sky, so you will need a clear view of the western horizon free from buildings or trees. As the sky darkens, search for a steady, semi-bright light glowing through the twilight. It will be about as bright as the brightest nighttime stars.

To observe Mercury in the morning sky, you will have to wait for its greatest western elongation. When this occurs, look low above the eastern horizon 45 minutes before sunrise. Over the next 30 minutes you might see pinkish Mercury pop into view just before the Sun pokes above the horizon.

Venus: The Dazzling Planet

When is Venus visible in 2024?

  • July 15-December 31, 2024: Look west after sunset. (The best time to view Venus in the evening sky in 2024 will be from October 5-December 31, 2024.)

Venus was the goddess of beauty in ancient Rome. When the planet Venus is in the sky just after sunset as the “Evening Star” or just before sunrise as the “Morning Star,” you cannot miss her. When Venus shines, she looks like an extraterrestrial visitor has graced the heavens.

Venus is the brightest planet in the nighttime sky. It is so dazzlingly bright because it is relatively close to Earth and because a thick blanket of clouds perpetually covers its surface. These clouds reflect so much sunlight into space that from Earth only the Sun and Moon shine brighter than Venus.

Like Mercury, Venus can best be seen just before sunrise or just after sunset, depending on where it is in its orbit. Some stargazers call Venus the Morning Star or Evening Star, depending on when it is visible. Venus looks especially good when it is near a waxing crescent Moon in the fading twilight of evening, or when it cozies up to a waning crescent Moon just before dawn.

After the Moon, Venus is the brightest natural object in the night sky. It is both the Earth’s closest neighbor in our Solar System and the planet most similar to Earth in size, gravity, and composition. We can’t see the surface of Venus from Earth, because it is covered with thick clouds. Venus has the densest atmosphere of the four terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars), which consists mostly of carbon dioxide. Always brilliant, and shining with a steady, silvery light.

Mars: The Red Planet

When is Mars visible in 2024?

  • May-December: Look east before sunrise. (Mars becomes brighter as the year goes on.)

Mars is easy to find in the night sky with the naked eye because of its distinctive color. It is nicknamed the Red Planet because it shines with an extremely off-white light. When you find it, you might classify its hue as orange or yellow instead of red, but when you compare its light to that of white or blue stars, you will see it is redder than most. This bloody color led ancient Romans to associate this planet with Mars, their god of war.

In the sky Mars appears brighter than the brightest stars that are visible from even urban locations. Mars is best viewed when it is closest to the Earth, and thus appears at its biggest and brightest in the evening sky. The Red Planet’s distance from us varies significantly: from almost 250 million miles at its farthest to about 35 million miles at its closest. 

Astronomers use the term opposition to describe the moment when Mars and Earth get closest together as they orbit the Sun. Opposition occurs when the Earth is between Mars and the Sun, placing the Sun on the opposite side of the sky from Mars. This alignment happens about every 26 months. 

The next Mars opposition occurs in mid-January 2025.

Planet symbols. Would you like to learn more about these? Tell us in the comments!

Jupiter: The Steady Planet

When is Jupiter visible in 2024?

  • June 15-December 6: Look east before sunrise.(Jupiter is brightest in the morning sky from November 14-December 6.)
  • December 7-31: Look west after sunset. (Jupiter is brightest in the evening sky during this time frame.) 

Ancients Greeks called it Zeus, and the Romans adopted this bright night light as the manifestation of their chief god, Jupiter. 

Jupiter is an unmistakable light in the night sky. It appears to be a non-twinkling cream-colored star and is very often the brightest starlike object in the entire night sky. Jupiter’s brilliance is so stunning that it is often more than twice as bright as the brightest star in the sky, Sirius. When Jupiter is in the sky, you notice it!

Jupiter is a steady performer. Unlike Mercury or Mars, the light it shines on Earth does not fluctuate very noticeably in brightness over the time it is visible in the night sky. Even though Jupiter is far from Earth (roughly 400 million miles), it is so large and its cloud tops reflect so much sunlight that it shines brightly whenever it is up in the sky.

Jupiter will be closest to the Earth (and brightest) during its next opposition, in December 7, 2024.

Saturn: The Slow Planet With A Secret

When is Saturn visible in 2024?

  • July-August: Look south before sunrise. (Brightest during the mornings at the end of August 2024.)
  • September-November: Look southeast after sunset. (Brightest in the evenings until the beginning of October 2024.)
  • December: Look south after sunset.

Saturn is the slowest-moving of the naked-eye planets. The ancient Romans noticed this sluggish motion and incorporated it into their mythology. Saturn was often depicted as an old man with a long beard and later was equated with the figure of Father Time.

The farthest planet you can see with the naked eye, from even suburban locations, is Saturn. Although you cannot detect the ridiculously cool rings of this planet without a telescope, you can still easily locate it every year in the night sky.

Saturn appears to be a non-twinkling yellow star that shines with a light equal to or sometimes greater than the brightest first magnitude stars like Vega and Arcturus. Like all planets farther from the Sun than Earth, Saturn appears biggest and brightest near opposition. At opposition Saturn is still over 800 million miles away, but it is so large and its surface and rings reflect so much sunlight that it shines like a first magnitude star.

The next Saturn opposition is September 2024.

Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Others

To find the other planets, Uranus and Neptune, you will need a telescope. Uranus can be spotted with a pair of binoculars, but it will only look like a tiny pinpoint of light. Through a telescope, Uranus will appear as a pale blue-white circle of light. While Neptune, even through a large telescope, will only look like a tiny blue dot.

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When is Uranus visible in 2024?

  • June 15-August 30: Look south before sunrise.
  • September: Look southeast before sunrise.
  • October-November 15: Look southwest before sunrise.
  • December: Look southeast after sunset.

When is Neptune visible in 2024?

  • July: Look south before sunrise.
  • August: Look southwest before sunrise.
  • September: Look west before sunrise.
  • October-November: Look southeast after sunset.
  • December: Look south after sunset.

How about Pluto?

Pluto, which was reclassified as a dwarf-planet (as opposed to a planet) in 2006, is almost impossible to observe in a backyard telescope. Even through a professional telescope, Pluto looks fainter than most of the faintest stars around it. Several asteroids would make easier targets such as Ceres and Vesta which are significantly closer to Earth and shine many times brighter than Pluto. But none of these former planets can be found with the naked eye. 

Visible Planets with Moon Pairings

People often notice a planet when it appears near the Moon. They will ask, “what was that bright ‘star’ next to the Moon last night?” The Moon and planets seem to traverse a ring around the Earth called the zodiac. These are the stars in the famous zodiac constellations like Aries, Virgo, and Sagittarius. The Moon monthly passes through all twelve zodiac constellations while the planets move through them at various, slower speeds. But each month, the Moon will appear to pass near each planet. When it does it is called a conjunction.

The most picturesque pairing is when the crescent Moon shines next to the brightest planet, Venus. Here at Farmers’ Almanac we refer to this as The Moon “kissing” Venus. Pairings of Jupiter and the Moon are a close second! Here are upcoming dates for each:

The Moon Kisses Venus

The Moon kisses Venus (Moon-Venus conjunctions) in the evening sky on the following dates in 2024:

  • August 5
  • September 5
  • October 5
  • November 4
  • December 4

The Moon Kisses Jupiter

The Moon kisses Jupiter (Moon-Jupiter conjunctions) in the morning sky, before sunrise, on the following dates in 2024:

  • July 30 and 31 (with Mars nearby)
  • August 27 
  • September 24 (after midnight)

Moon-Jupiter conjunctions visible in the 2024 evening sky, after sunset:

  • October 20
  • November 16 and 17
  • December 14

Kissing Planets

Two or more visible planets can often appear to line up as seen from Earth. Planetary alignments of two, three, four, or even five planets are some of the most amazing sights to see in the night sky. 

Here is a planet pairing to watch for in 2024:

  • August 14: Mars and Jupiter will be about one-third of one degree apart. Look east between 2 a.m. and sunrise.

If this article inspires you to go outside and look for planets in the night sky for the first time, let us know what you find.

We love hearing from you!

Dean Regas is an expert astronomer and published author..
Dean Regas

Dean Regas is an expert astronomer and a renowned author who has written six books, including 100 Things to See in the Night Sky and How to Teach Grown-Ups About Pluto. An astronomer with more than two decades of experience, Dean is a dynamic writer and public speaker who brings the complicated field of astronomy down to Earth for students of all ages. From 2010-2019, he was the co-host of the PBS program Star Gazers. He is a frequent guest on National Public Radio’s Science Friday with Ira Flatow and NPR's Here & Now. He also hosts a popular astronomy podcast called Looking Up with Dean Regas. Learn more about him at www.astrodean.com

Joe Rao is an expert astronomer.
Joe Rao

Joe Rao is an esteemed astronomer who writes for Space.com, Sky & Telescope, and Natural History Magazine. Mr. Rao is a regular contributor to the Farmers' Almanac and serves as an associate lecturer for the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.

This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Do you have a question or an idea for an article? Contact us!

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Is this Mercury?

Toni Wynn

I enjoyed your article. It educated me on the fact that the photos I took were of the Cresent moon and Venus.


Thank you! What a great photo!

Kary Lynn Vail

Really fun I hope I can be added to your list


I want to know where and which direction

Sarah Eliabeth

Great article


I enjoy watching the planets with my uncle. He work for NASA for 20 yrs. He tell me joke why the people’s behind the chair in NASA think about. The answer was kind of funny wait for the next break time. Also what they is eat green crackers with green cheese to think that they are on Mars. I enjoy learning more about the planets with uncle. Than listening to crazy joke

Kenny Canard

Isaiah 40:22 talks about the circle of the earth, so even people back then believed that the earth was round like a ball.

Deborah B.


Annie banannie

If the earth is flat why can’t we go to the ends of it? The sides ? And how do you explain photos taken from outer space that show earth as a round planet ?? I’m baffled that people defy facts . Science is the truth whether you believe in it or not .

Jayesh koli

I am wanting to make a project on travel from earth to Venus planet.


So, Venus is practicaly visible entire year!? Ok, how is that possible? If it is closer to Sun then Earth, that means it can be visible ONLY during the day and ONLY part of the year,since it sits between us and the Sun. You can not observe it during the night, since we are facing outer space on the night side and Venus is simply not there. This is why I KNOW Earth is not a globe. Same goes for Mercury…


i would have to say that *visible* entire year means it can be seen daily….i live in georgia and i’ve been seeing Venus every evening all summer…..i saw it a few times in the morning during the beginning of the year…..but sunrise is a foreign concept to me ☺ so my star gazing is night time….been seeing Saturn and Jupiter for months now south of up after midnight……love the night sky…..i pray for CME’s in the hopes of seeing the aurora!!!!


Straka, How does earth being flat change any of that? Venus is only visible “at night” in the evening relatively close to the horizon just after the sun sets because we need to look “almost” in the same direction as the sun. Same in the mornings depending on the time of year. That’s because as you noted Venus is in orbit closer to the sun. Wow, the earth is a sphere. Just like the rest of the planets and moons and every other large celestial body.


Wow. So let me get this straight, you actually think the earth is flat?!!
You need to go back to elementary school dude.
This is what is wrong with our country, thinking like that and being ignorant about proven facts.
I bet if you even voted, you voted for the biggest ignorant choice, traitor trump. Unreal. Please educate yourself


Vernie, at first you have to wipe away some stereotypes yourself and then, after all, impose your false ideas about the structure of our planet on anyone. “Proven facts” is the bait for such gullible people as you are. Our consciousness is kept captive by those who don’t want us to know real state of affairs. It’s easier for them to control your mind. Wake up and never consider someone to be ignorent and not educated. It might happen that you are far away behind our reality.


The earth is observably round. I find it funny that flat earthers never truly look at what they talk about.

Tara Gaudette

Be nice.

Tara Gaudette

Be nice.


Flat=Earthers can only be 2 things. 1. a Joker, who thinks his ridiculous claims are so hilarious that he must laugh at those around him shaking their heads. or 2. a Fool, who actually believes the unfounded and wholly inaccurate contention of this particular idiocy.


You really don’t know what you are talking about. Venus is always seen as a crescent before the dawn in the eastern sky or after sunset in the western sky, when it can be seen. It is always a crescent because it is closer to the sun so we can only see it when it is to the side of the sun so it will never be seen full like the moon.

You only see it before dawn or after sunset depending on where it’s orbit is in relation to our orbit.

I suggest you by a cheap telescope and look at what you are commenting on before you comment. You will be amazed at the true beauty of God’s never ending creation.

Last edited 2 years ago by IMHO

Relax I think they made an intelligent observation and sure, you make sense, so ok maybe earth is a ball, and sure earth being flat wouldn’t help it being closer to the sun yet seen in darkness somehow but what you say makes sense. For a god believer you don’t think god could make a flat earth? You think god appreciates how rude you are? Why don’t you think twice before you comment. Flat earth can still be beautiful anyways wtf


Love your thinking! Hell yeah makes sense to me too! Funny how typical that other moron is bashing you for using your head and making a logical conclusion even if it wasn’t taught to you in school. Lollll sillies be silly. Beagle mom makes a good point tho I do remember hearing Venus is the morning star. Feel like I’ve seen it at night myself though.


please stop deceiving to yourself you are missing out on so much knowledge by not putting the time in to understand what you don’t. I say this with sincerity and respect.


Siempre quedo en la duda si las fechas de observación corresponden al hemisferio norte o sur. Yo vivo en el hemisferio sur, específicamente en Chile.
Muchas gracias

Michael Baransky

How are the “morning” and “evening” hours defined? I.e. is 1am considered morning or evening?

Susan Higgins
Susan Higgins

Hi Michael, Our apologies in advance that this is a long reply but hopefully, it answers your question. Morning and evening designations have to do with each individual planet’s relationship to the Sun. We spoke with astronomer Joe Rao, who explains: For the “inferior” planets (those planets closer to the Sun than Earth, i.e., Mercury and Venus), these two planets can never get very far from the Sun in the sky, generally rising an hour or two before the Sun in the morning — hence getting the designation “morning star” — or setting an hour or two after the Sun in the evening — hence getting the designation “evening star.” When Mercury or Venus arrives at inferior conjunction, that is the day that they transition from an evening star to a morning star. When they arrive at superior conjunction, that is the day they transition from a morning star to an evening star.

For the “superior” planets (those planets farther from the Sun than Earth, i.e., Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) they enter the morning sky when they arrive at conjunction with the Sun. Thereafter they remain as “morning stars” until the day they come to opposition — that point in the sky where they are diametrically opposite to the Sun in the sky; they rise at sunset, are highest at midnight, and set at sunrise. On the date of opposition, a superior planet transitions to the designation as an “evening star.” It then remains as an evening star until it once again is in conjunction with the Sun. It then transitions back to being a morning star.”

Gene Robinson

Desert Dweller

Gene Robinson

Composite of Jupiter and Saturn images taken this morning

Susan Higgins

Wow, thank you for sharing, Gene!


awesome 🙂

Kari Pelser

I have recently become addicted to the night sky … BEAUTIFUL.. Thank u for the artical here is juat 1 lonely pic i have taken out of thousands ..

Susan Higgins

Hi Kari, the same thing happened to me. I so appreciate space and our place in it. Fascinating. We’re so glad you are enjoying our content!

Liz Hohlbein

Very good pictures and explained very well, but what do you mean by opposition or opposite the sun

Susan Higgins

Hi Liz, all the planets in our solar system orbit the Sun. At certain points during these orbits, the Earth finds itself directly between the Sun and another planet. This is the moment at which that planet is said to be ‘in opposition’.


Thank you for a very nice article! Like others, I’ve read countless articles about how/when/where to see planets in our solar system. Yours is one of the best “set” of directions I’ve read of late. I wish I had a powerful telescope for awesome viewing, but in my part of Florida I’ve found a pair of strong binoculars jury-rigged atop a camera tripod works best due to our variable – and varying – cloud cover.

Susan Higgins

Terrific, Bob. And thank you, I’m glad you enjoy that page. We’ll be updating it for 2021 shortly!

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