How many planets are visible tonight?
There are five planets which are visible to the naked eye. They move through the sky, from week to week, so you need to know where to look if you want to see them. The good news is that the movements of all the planets are limited to a narrow strip of sky called the ecliptic, along with the signs of the zodiac, which is halfway between the north and south poles. This means that, unless you’re in the arctic or antarctic, your view will be the same as every other astronomer on Earth. To find out which planets are overhead at any specific time, you need to either refer to an almanac (usually online, as paper editions are becoming less common), or use computer software which will calculate the positions for you. Or you can do what I do: Find them once and watch them every few nights, tracking their motions over the months and years!
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