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Five planets visible in the early morning sky this weekend

The comet NEOWISE and Space Station also visible in the evening sky.
Venus, Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter will be visible in the night sky Saturday and Sunday.
Venus, Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter will be visible in the night sky Saturday and Sunday.(WDBJ)
Published: Jul. 18, 2020 at 12:11 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - This has been an active month for skywatchers. Not only has the comet NEOWISE created a buzz, but the International Space Station has also been quite visible. This weekend, five planets will also dot the early morning skies, an event that won’t happen again until June 2022.

If you’re hoping to spot them all at once, you’ll need to get up extra early and get a good view of the horizon.

WHICH PLANETS ARE VISIBLE?

To the right of the crescent moon will be Mercury. Just above that, much brighter Venus. Both in the eastern sky 45 minutes before sunrise.

Highest in the sky, you’ll find bright Mars. Then in the southwest sky, you’ll spot Saturn above a much brighter Jupiter lower on the horizon.

Mercury will be fading away at the end of the month, but the other plants should be visible at various times together for the remainder of the summer.

COMET NEOWISE

The comet NEOWISE is also a constant in the night sky. Look northwest along the horizon between 10 p.m. and Midnight. Keep in mind it will be much more faint that you’ll see in photos on social media since they are taken using long exposure photography methods. It will be rising higher in the night sky.

  • Wait until an hour after sunset (around 10 p.m.)
  • Choose a viewing spot on flat land, away from urban light pollution
  • Look to the Northwest, above the horizon and below the Big Dipper
  • Using a pair of binoculars you should be able to spot two bright comet tails, one made of gas, the other of rock and minerals.
NEOWISE will be rising in the night sky this weekend.
NEOWISE will be rising in the night sky this weekend.(WDBJ)

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

The Space Station will also visible at times during the night sky and a few mornings. Visit our astronomy section for updated times.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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