Visible planets May 2024: What planets are visible tonight?

What planets are visible tonight?

Mercury is visible near the horizon in the eastern sky preceding sunrise. You need a clear view of the horizon to catch a glimpse of Mercury. It is easier to spot Mercury in the southern hemisphere than in the northern hemisphere. Mercury is visible a bit higher in the sky from the southern hemisphere due to the higher slope of the ecliptic. Mercury rises about 45 minutes before sunrise on May 29, 2024.

On this day, Mercury shines with a magnitude of -0.6 and is located in the zodiac constellation Aries.

Mars is visible low in the eastern sky preceding sunrise. Mars is visible to the upper right of Mercury. Mars looks reddish in the sky. Mars rises about 2 hours and 30 minutes before sunrise on May 29, 2024.

On this day, Mars shines with a magnitude of +1.1 and is located in the zodiac constellation Pisces.

Saturn is visible low in the eastern sky preceding sunrise. Saturn is visible to the upper right of Mars. Saturn looks golden in the sky. Saturn rises about 3 hours and 30 minutes before sunrise on May 29, 2024.

On this day, Saturn shines with a magnitude of +1.2 and is located in the zodiac constellation Aquarius.

Position of the three planets, Mercury, Mars, and Saturn, in the eastern sky preceding sunrise in May 2024
Position of the three planets, Mercury, Mars, and Saturn, in the eastern sky preceding sunrise in May 2024. (Image credit: Stellarium)

Mercury in May 2024

Mercury reached its greatest western elongation on May 9, 2024, meaning it reached furthest from the sun (26.4°W) on our sky’s dome. It was the best time to observe Mercury in the morning twilight in May.

Currently, Mercury is slowly moving towards the sun, making it gradually harder to observe in the morning twilight.

As it moves towards the sun, it will continue to brighten, and by the end of May, it will shine with a magnitude of -0.7.

From the beginning of June, it will slowly enter into the sun’s glare, making it almost impossible to observe in the morning twilight.

Mercury will reach superior solar conjunction on June 14, 2024, meaning it will completely disappear in the sun’s glare behind the sun, making it impossible to observe.

Venus in May 2024

Each day in May, Venus will slowly enter into the sun’s glare, making it almost impossible to observe in the morning twilight.

Venus will reach superior solar conjunction on June 4, 2024, meaning it will completely disappear in the sun’s glare behind the sun, making it impossible to observe.

After the superior conjunction on June 4, it will slowly emerge from the sun’s glare. However, it will be too close to the sun to be visible in June and July.

Venus will reach a decent height above the horizon from August and will be visible in the evening twilight.

Mars in May 2024

Each day in May, Mars will gain altitude in the morning sky as it rises earlier. So as the day progresses, it will be easier to spot Mars.

Mars will rise approximately four minutes earlier each day. At the beginning of May, it will rise about an hour before sunrise, and by the end of May, it will rise about three hours before sunrise.

Mars will be visible to the lower left of the beautiful waning crescent moon on the morning of June 2, 2024 and to the upper right of the waning crescent moon on June 3, 2024.

Mars will reach opposition on January 15, 2025, meaning it will be located on the opposite side of the sun on our sky’s dome. It will be the best time of the year to observe Mars, as it will be visible all night.

Jupiter in May 2024

Jupiter reached conjunction with the sun on May 18, 2024, meaning it disappeared in the sun’s glare behind the sun on our sky’s dome. It was the worst time to observe Jupiter.

The conjunction of Jupiter on May 18, 2024, was the transition time of Jupiter from the evening sky to the morning sky. 

Currently, it is slowly emerging from the sun’s glare. However, it is too close to the sun to be visible in May and June.

Jupiter will reach a decent height above the horizon from July and will be visible in the morning twilight.

Jupiter will reach opposition on December 7, 2024, meaning it will be located on the opposite side of the sun on our sky’s dome. It will be the best time of the year to observe Jupiter, as it will be visible all night.

Saturn in May 2024

Like Mars, each day in May, Mars will also gain altitude in the morning sky as it rises earlier. So as the day progresses, it will be easier to spot Saturn.

Saturn will be seen to the upper right of Mars in May, and as the day progresses, the separation between them will also increase.

Saturn will rise about four minutes earlier each day. At the beginning of May, it will rise about a couple of hours before sunrise, and by the end of May, it will rise about four hours before sunrise.

Saturn will be visible very close to the thick waning crescent moon on the morning of May 31, 2024.

Saturn will reach opposition on September 8, 2024, meaning it will be located on the opposite side of the sun on our sky’s dome. It will be the best time of the year to observe Saturn, as it will be visible all night.

Resources

Visit the Stellarium Online for precise positions of planets from your location.

Moon phases May 2024: What is the moon phase today?

Mercury phases 2024: What is the phase of Mercury today?

Happy skywatching!

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About the Author

Ashim

Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of spaceandtelescope.com.

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