Everything in the world might be pretty terrible right now, but if nothing else, we’ll be treated to seeing Jupiter, Mars and Saturn rise every day in June 2020. Even though Jupiter and Saturn are the largest in the solar system, they’re not the brightest. But this month, both gas giants will be more visible than usual, and as a bonus, you should be able to spot Mars to the left of the other two planets.
How to see a ‘planet rise’
On clear nights this month, and depending on where you live, you should be able to see Saturn and Jupiter starting around 11 p.m. until just before dawn. Then, just before sunrise, look for Saturn and Jupiter in the south-southeast, somewhere where you have a clear view along the horizon. Around dawn, Mars should appear to the left of Saturn.
“The Jupiter, Saturn and Mars trifecta is an epic thing to look for in the early hours of the morning, but if you want to stay up late, you can watch them rise,” Jackie Faherty, astrophysicist at the New York City’s American Museum of Natural History told Forbes. “The rising and setting of the planets is an under-appreciated phenomenon that people can really enjoy.”
Because a lot of the timing of the planet rise has to do with your location, you’ll probably want to look up the specific times when it’s brightest in your area. These three apps will help you figure out when to head outside:
When you watch a planet rise, you’re essentially looking at a live view of the solar system, including seeing how the planets move in relation to each other. “The laws of planetary motion say that the planets that are closest to the Sun are the fastest, and the planets that are farthest away move more slowly,” Faherty told Forbes.
There’s going to be even more action in the night sky coming as we get closer to the summer solstice, so check back here for updates.