Longer nights, drier weather and clear skies during the fall months create the perfect conditions for viewing the night sky.
And this November, we’ll get more than a clear view of stars and constellations.
Close observers will be able to get a look at five different planets — without needing a telescope.
The five planets sky watchers will able to spot are Earth’s closest neighbors: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible right at dusk and early nightfall. You’ll have to be more patient to see Mercury and Venus, because they don’t show up until the early morning hours.
The first planets to show up in the night sky will be Mars and Jupiter, which happen to be our closest neighbors outside of Earth’s orbit. Mars will be brightest spot in the southeastern night sky, and Jupiter will be the brightest spot in the southwestern night sky.
As it gets a little darker, Saturn will begin to shine slightly higher and to the east of Jupiter.
To see Mercury and Venus, our closest neighbors inside of Earth’s orbit, you’ll have to make the decision to stay up all night or set your alarm for before the sunrise.
About an hour or so before dawn, look to the east and find the brightest spot in the sky — that’s Venus. EarthSky tweeted a photo of Venus just before dawn in New York:
“Venus blazes in a beautiful predawn sky over #Manhattan, New York City.”
EarthSky friend Alexander Krivenyshev captured this image while self-isolating on Friday morning. Thank you and be well, Alexander! ð
See more EarthSky community photos: https://t.co/0ITqizM0A0 pic.twitter.com/kwmPKqyL7q
— EarthSky (@earthskyscience) November 7, 2020
Closer to the horizon and directly below Venus, Mercury will appear as a much dimmer point of light.
To see the planet closest to the sun, you’ll need an unobstructed view of the horizon, and as November wears on, Mercury will become brighter and climb higher in the night sky, making it easier to spot later in the month.
This unique opportunity to see five different planets in one night won’t last, so take advantage while the timing and the season are right.
Jason Meyers is a part-time meteorologist and big-time fan of looking up. You can follow him on Twitteror watch one of his entertaining and educational YouTube videos.
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.