If you follow celestial comings and goings at all, you know that most of the bright planets have been largely missing from the evening sky for a few months.  But really all the action has been in the sky before sunrise.

During the next two weeks you’ll have a good chance to view five planets at once. It’s a real visual treat, so don’t pass up the chance to see it.

You can see all five bright planets in the evening this month! But you’ll have to look hard for two of them. First, the easy ones Jupiter, Mars and Saturn pop out as darkness falls in July 2016. Jupiter, brightest of the bunch, is found in the western half of the sky until late evening. Mars is still a bright beacon, although fainter than Jupiter at nightfall and early evening, still in a noticeable triangle with Saturn and the bright star Antares. Jupiter, Mars and Saturn are visible throughout July.

Now the more difficult planets now (Mercury and Venus). In July 2016, they’re low in the glare of evening night quickly following the sun below the horizon before nightfall. By mid-July, you can start searching for them with the eye, in the west after sunset. By late July you might be able to see all five bright planets at once briefly after sunset.

I hope to bring you some images of most of them, fingers crossed!