By Russ Hanson
Saturn and Jupiter – Due to our faster orbit, the Earth is catching up to Jupiter and Saturn and will soon pass them. Jupiter will be in opposition on July 14 and Saturn will be in opposition on July 20. That is, the Earth will pass between them and the sun. On those dates, the planets will be exactly opposite the sun in our sky, and they will be about as close and bright as they generally get. Where to look? They’ll rise in the east after sunset and follow the ecliptic across the sky. The ecliptic is the plane of the solar system along which the sun, moon, and planets appear to move across our sky.
Venus – Venus continues to move away from the sun in the morning sky and is at its brightest on July 10. Look for it to pop over the eastern horizon about an hour or so before the sun.