Throughout the last half of July, keep an eye to the western horizon just after sunset for a performance by the planets! Starting on the 19th, Venus will appear low on the western horizon. Mercury is the next brighter star like object a little higher above. Over subsequent evenings, you’ll be able to see the distance between Venus and Mercury get less and less. Both planets appear to be getting higher in the night sky with Venus slowly catching up to Mercury!

Use the above image as a guide. Astronomical images provided by SkySafari, a Simulation Curriculum Company, All rights reserved

When and where to look:

From 6pm, 19th to 31st July. Look towards the low western horizon.

Something interesting

Sometimes, planets pass directly in front of stars in events known as occultations. Astronomers take this opportunity to investigate the atmospheres of planets! By examining the light of the star in the moments just before it is blocked by the planet, astronomers get a glimpse into the composition of the planet’s atmosphere. Find out more about this process here.

Want More Stargazing Tips?

There’s always something interesting happening in the night sky and country WA is the best place to catch all the action!