Spotting the Planets in 2018

 

Mars pic

Mars
Image: earthsky.org

An art enthusiast, Valerie Varnuska of Westbury, NY, appreciates dance, music, literature, and opera. Additionally, Valerie Varnuska maintains a keen interest in science, particularly astronomy.

While the total solar eclipse of 2017 is now part of astronomical history, 2018 will have its own remarkable astronomical events for stargazers to look forward to. Starting in March, each of the five planets that can be seen by the naked eye — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter — will be visible after sunset. First to appear will be Mercury the week of March 15, followed by Venus making itself visible from March 18 to October. Jupiter will begin to shine brightly on May 9 in the southeast sky, and, over a month later on June 27, Saturn will be visible for the entire summer.

A favorite for many starwatchers, Mars will make its appearance on July 27 at a distance of 35.8 million miles from Earth. This is the closest the planet has been to Earth since 2003.

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