Throughout the night, around August 19-21, 2021. Watch for the full moon – a Blue Moon – to swing by Saturn and then Jupiter. We show Neptune and Pluto on this chart, but both are invisible without an optical aid
Jupiter and Saturn
In August 2021, you can see the giant planet Jupiter and ringed planet Saturn from early evening until dawn. They’re at their most glorious this month. Both of them will have an opposition, when they will appear opposite the sun as seen from Earth, in August. Saturn will be at opposition on August 1-2. And Jupiter will be at opposition on August 19-20.
Opposition marks the middle of the best time of year to see a planet. Look for them in your southeast sky at nightfall/early evening, highest up around midnight, and low in the west near sunrise.
Do you have an unobstructed horizon from east to west? If so, look for Venus to blaze away in your western sky at dusk/nightfall. At the same time, you may also view Jupiter and Saturn low in the southeast sky. Some people might catch all three worlds in the same sky as early as August 1. From anywhere worldwide, though, it’ll be easier to see all three planets at dusk/nightfall as the month progresses.
Saturn rises first. Around the world, Saturn rises around sunset at the beginning of the month. At mid-northern latitudes, Jupiter follows Saturn into the sky about an hour (60 minutes) after Saturn comes up. At temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, Jupiter follows Saturn into the sky around 1 1/2 hours (90 minutes) after Saturn rises.
By around August 20, Jupiter will rise around sunset and set around sunrise. Saturn, which rises before Jupiter, will set about 1 1/2 hours (90 minutes) before Jupiter at mid-northern latitudes. At temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, Saturn will set about one hour (60 minutes) before Jupiter. Watch for Jupiter to follow Saturn across the nighttime sky throughout August 2021.