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How to see five planets in the night sky during September

This month, sweet skywatching opportunities continue to abound as Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus will all shine brightly.

It's a planetary party in September skies. 

After comet Neowise and the Perseid meteor shower dazzled in July and August, September also has plenty to offer for skywatchers, with five planets visible in the night sky. 

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will all be out this month, but some are easier to spot than others. 

Mars is already simple to find in the evening sky, and as NASA points out in the video below, it will also be mingling with the moon in the predawn sky Sunday, Sept. 6, making for quite a sight.

During this first weekend of September, Saturn and Jupiter will serve as an opening act for Mars. Look for the shining pair in the south next to the bright star Fomalhaut. They will be visible many nights at dusk through around midnight, with Mars showing up slightly later. 

Venus is nicknamed the "morning star" for good reason and it will be shining in all its majesty in a number of predawn skies as well. It will come quite close to what will then be just a tiny sliver of a crescent moon on Sept. 14. 

The trickiest planet to see will be tiny Mercury, which is an evening planet throughout September, according to EarthSky. This month will be the best time to see the planet all year long from the southern hemisphere, but doing so will require some more effort north of the equator. 

There are a number of great tools to help you know exactly where and when to look for each heavenly body from your specific location. Stellarium, the Sky Live and Heavens Above are among my favorites. 

Happy watching, and as always, get as far away from light pollution as possible and allow your eyes some time to adjust to the darkness for best results.