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.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Eric Mack has been a CNET contributor since 2011. Eric and his family live 100% energy and water independent on his off-grid compound in the New Mexico desert. Eric uses his passion for writing about energy, renewables, science and climate to bring educational content to life on topics around the solar panel and deregulated energy industries. Eric helps consumers by demystifying solar, battery, renewable energy, energy choice concepts, and also reviews solar installers. Previously, Eric covered space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
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Eric Mack
2 min read

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. 

2020 Perseid meteor shower photos shine bright in a dark year

See all photos

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.