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I'm writing this in my back garden, freezing my butt off, my first night doing any kind of astronomy and I'm wondering if anyone can help me. I've plunged into astronomy with less of a clue than I thought I had (I thought I was pretty well set up and knew what I was doing). I can't stay up very late (still in high school) and I have a star chart and interactive planet chart but what i wonder is.... When is the best time of year to see the planets? Most of them are either up in the day or too low in the horizon right now, so when will the planets be high in the sky? (thanks in advance for any help given)

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Hi Connor

Jupiter comes up at about midnight .. it will get earlier and earlier each week !

End of October the clocks fo back so should be around at about 10 in the evening.

Download Stellarium it allows you to change the date or time travel. And its free :D

Good luck and stick with it

Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2

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Jupiter and Venus are high in the sky right now - I just stepped outside and looked - an hour ago Orion was beautiful against the semi dark sky too - wish I'd been a bit more awake.

Last night Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were all out there on one of the best nights we've had this year - but they take a bit of finding and represent a not inconsiderable challenge for a newbie's first session.

Stick with it though - all planets come round eventually during the early evening - but you've learned a valuable first lesson that stargazing is as seasonal as the weather and it takes a full year to appreciate the movements of the heavens. You'll get the timing of it as you progress. Well done and hope that helps :)

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Connor, I assume you are in the U.K. and if so, check out a local book store for a "farmer's almanac". They usually have descriptions on the planets - when visible and where in the sky.

And the images of any planet will improve greatly when it is high in the sky.

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Hi Connor,

Welcome to the wonderful world of astronomy!

You don't say what type of scope you have? Have you collimated it? This will ensure that you are getting the best possible view of your chosen object once you find it.

Magazines like 'The Sky At Night' or 'AS' (Astronomy Now) both have a handy feature each month that tells you what is visible and which planets are up and when. I get TSAN on subscription - it was a birthday present. With the 'C' word fast approaching it might be an idea for your present list!

As a newbie myself I can only say stick with it and you will see some wonderful things in our night sky. It can be frustrating at times, but it is worth it; or there wouldn't be so many members on sites like SGL.


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