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Just after sunset and as soon as it's dark enough planets Mars and Saturn are visible towards the south from Northern Hemisphere latitudes and towards the northeast from Southern Hemisphere locations. Mars is positioned in Libra about 15 degrees west of Saturn in Ophiuchus, with both planets visible until the morning hours. Due to their southern declinations they are better seen from tropical and southern latitudes, appearing higher in the sky and with a longer visibility period. This rich area of sky also contains many deep sky objects and bright stars, including first magnitude red supergiant Antares (α Sco - mag. +1.0). Of the three objects Mars (mag. -1.1) is the brightest followed by Saturn (mag. +0.2) and then Antares.

Some pleasant viewing opportunities occur between July 14th and 16th when the Moon is also located in the same region of sky. On July 14th, it passes 8 degrees north of Mars and two days later 3 degrees north of Saturn. The image below shows the view just before midnight on July 15th from London, England. From other mid-latitude northern locations the scene will be similar to that shown.

The Moon, Mars, Saturn and Antares as seen after sunset on July 15, 2016 from London, England (credit:- stellarium/freestarcharts)

Mars and Saturn during July 2016 (credit:- freestarcharts)

Mars and Saturn during July 2016 - pdf format (credit:- freestarcharts)

See also

The Planets this Month - July 2016