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The Planets

Planet Data For August

Click on any planet below to go straight to its section.

MercuryVenusMarsJupiterSaturnUranusNeptuneObs for All

The table below shows key data for the planets this month, including rise, transit and set times, as well as magnitude, apparent size and position data (right ascension and declination).

Events that occur when the sun is below the horizon are shown with a black background and white text. All other events happen when the sun is in the sky and other for not visible for observation.

During the month of June we can no longer see Mercury or Venus in the evening sky, as they set and rise alongside the sun.  Mars begins to make an appearance once again in the early morning hours, just before sunrise.  Jupiter gradually climbs higher in our sky, and becomes easier to spot in the morning twilight.  While Saturn shines brightly and is now easily spotted in the early morning hours.  Uranus is just barely above the horizon and a challenge to view, while Neptune is more easily viewable, as it climbs higher in the sky each day.

In the early morning of June 3rd we’ll see a planetary alignment consisting of 6 planets (Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune), however they will not all be visible due to the competing sunrise.

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Mercury

05th August

2030 5 / Mercury rises alongside the sun, making it unviewable in the morning sky.

15th August

2015 0 / Mercury is again rising with the sun and not visible in the sky.

25th August

0610 2 / Mercury is setting in the early evening sky, and no longer visible.

Mercury is not viewable this month, as it sets and rises each day, alongside the sun.  On the 4th of June it achieves a very close conjunction with Jupiter.

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Venus

05th August

2100 3 / Venus is below the horizon and no longer visible.

15th August

2045 4 / Venus continues to follow the sun, and sets in the early evening sky.

25th August

2030 5 / Venus is again sinking slowly below the horizon, as it sets with the sun.

Venus continues to hide from view as it rises and sets with the sun.  It achieves superior conjunction on the 4th, when it will in fact be occulted by the Sun.  This occurs every June, at 8-year intervals, and has done so since 1976.  This is a 10-event series that ends in 2048.

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Mars

05th August

0500 37 / Mars is visible just prior to sunrise, at 17° above the eastern horizon.

15th August

0500 40 / In the early morning skies we can observe Mars 10° above the horizon.

25th August

0500 42 / Mars continues to rise in the early morning sky, now at 19° on the eastern horizon.

Mars can now be seen in the early morning sky each day, just above the eastern horizon.  It is shining brightly at magnitude +1.0, within the constellation Pisces during the first week of June, and then slowly moving into Aries for the remainder of the month. 

Mars will climb higher in the sky as the days pass and grow steadily brighter, as Earth is gaining on Mars, in our faster and smaller orbit around the sun.

The waning crescent moon passes just 2° to its north on June 2nd.

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Jupiter

05th August

0500 33 / Jupiter is visible just prior to sunrise, and can be found 3° high in the north-eastern sky

15th August

0500 40 / We can view Jupiter in the early morning hours, shining brightly 3° high above the horizon.

25th August

0500 46 / Jupiter is now found 9° above the horizon, and much more easily viewable in the morning sky, as it continues to climb higher each day.

Jupiter begins the month coming out of solar conjunction, and becomes visible in the early morning twilight once again.  It can now be found within the constellation Taurus, where it will remain for the rest of the year.  It shines brightly all month long at magnitude -2.0 with a disk size gradually increasing to 32.9 arc seconds, by the end of the month.

Jupiter achieves a very close conjunction with Mercury on June 4th, where it can be found only 0.1° north of Mercury.  Then on June 5th, it will reside only 5° south of the moon. Jupiter will rise 3-4 minutes earlier each day, and by the end of June it will be visible a full 2 hours before the sunrise.

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Saturn

05th August

0500 41 / Saturn can be easily found at 27° high, in the early morning southeastern sky.

15th August

0400 42 / Saturn continues to climb higher in the sky each day, and can now be found at 32°

25th August

2300 26 / At 4:30am Saturn is at optimal viewing at 38°

Saturn shines brightly in our early morning sky at magnitude +1.1 and in the constellation of Aquarius, where it will remain for the rest of the year.  Its disk size increases slowly over the month to 17.9 arcseconds.

On June 27 Saturn and the moon will share the same right ascension, with the waning gibbous moon passing 4’38” to the north of Saturn.  At the same time, they will also make a close approach called an appulse, and will appear close to each other in the sky.

We should make the most of viewing this majestic gas giant, as the ring system continues to close and will ultimately appear edge-on by the spring of 2025.

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Uranus & Neptune

15th August – Uranus

0500 54 / Uranus is extremely low in the northeastern sky in the early morning, at only 4° high, making it a challenge for viewing.

15th August – Neptune

0500 46 / Neptune can be found 30° above the horizon in the early morning sky, within the constellation Pisces.

Uranus begins to emerge from the solar glare in the early morning sky, however will still be a challenge to view as it can just barely be seen above the horizon.  Neptune can be found within Pisces, where it will reside for the rest of 2024.  On June 1, Neptune will be 0.02° north of the Moon.  At a peak magnitude of +7.9, it will only be visible with good binoculars or a telescope.

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All Planets Viewer

Use the table below to see when each of the planets is observable for each day this month. Click on it for full screen.

A planet is classed as observable when it is more than 10° above the horizon and the sky is dark enough for it to be observed.

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Planet ephemeris tables produced with the kind permission of Dominic Ford. Sky images are courtesy of SkySafari Pro 6.

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