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See three planets tonight

Jupiter, Mars, Saturn can all be seen easily on these June evenings.

Look for three planets tonight: Jupiter, Mars, Saturn. All three can be seen easily on these June evenings. You’ll be looking along the ecliptic, or path the sun travels across our sky. The charts below will show you where to look.

Looking westward at nightfall on June 3, 2014. The ecliptic is the Earth's orbital plane projected onto the sky's dome. What is the ecliptic

On June 3, 2014 – or any night, anytime soon – look for the planet Jupiter first. It’s the brightest starlike object in the evening sky now, and it’s in the west at nightfall.

Looking south at nightfall from mid-northern latitudes. What is the ecliptic?

Then look along the ecliptic for the planet Mars. It’s right next to the star Spica in the constellation Virgo. If you’re in the N. Hemisphere, look south for Mars and Spica. If you’re in the S. Hemisphere, they’ll be in the north.

Looking in the southeast on June 2014 evenings. What is the ecliptic

Finally, look for Saturn. It’s ascending in the eastern half of the sky dome as night falls.

Bottom line: See three planets on these June evenings. For more details, check out EarthSky’s planet guide.

Deborah Byrd