Unfortunately, the human eye is a very limited organ.
The human mind; however, is not so inhibited, which only makes the shortcomings of the eye feel even more severe.
We want to be able to peer into the depths of space and learn about the nature of our existence, but, without a telescope, we’re largely blocked from the cosmos.
But did you know that, despite our limitations, there are many planets that we can see with just our eyes?
The following list includes all 5 of the planets we can peep without any help from fancy telescopes.
The number of planets that can be seen with the naked eye is quite small, but they do exist.
That’s right – if the skies are clear, you can take a look out your window and see them for yourself! Amazing, right?
Never do things so mind-bogglingly far away seem so close as when you see them hanging in the sky before your very eyes.
Want to learn more? Stick with us to discover five planets you can see for yourself, without a telescope!
- What Planets Can You See Without A Telescope?
- Is It Dangerous To Look At Planets Without A Telescope?
- How Do I Know If My Eyesight Is Good Enough For Astronomy?
- How Do I Know How Far Away Something Is In Space?
- What Conditions Are Best To See Planets Without A Telescope?
- Final Thoughts
What Planets Can You See Without A Telescope?
Mercury is one of the easiest planets to see without a telescope.
It appears as a tiny, bright star in the night sky and can be seen with the naked eye from anywhere on Earth.
The planet is so close that it completes an orbit around our Sun every 88 days.
Its distance from the Sun varies between 0.4 million km (0.25 million miles) at perihelion and 0.7 million km (0.45 million miles) at aphelion.
During its closest approach to the Sun, the temperature on the surface reaches about −200°C (−328°F).
In addition to being visible during the day, Mercury also shines brightly at night because it reflects sunlight back into space.
This makes it appear brighter than any other object in the sky except Venus.
To find Mercury with the naked eye, look for the brightest star near the constellation Virgo.
The best time to view Mercury is when it’s high in the sky – ideally, you should look for the planet just after sunset or before sunrise.
If you are lucky enough to live somewhere where the weather is clear, you may have an even better chance of catching a glimpse of this incredible planet!
What Does The Virgo Constellation Look Like?
You can see the Virgo constellation with the naked eye. The Virgo constellation looks like a giant figure eight or a backward “8”.
It lies in the Northern Hemisphere and spans across 20 degrees of sky.
Venus is the second closest planet to the sun after Mercury.
Scientists believe that the temperature on Venus could reach as high as 860 degrees Fahrenheit (460 Celsius).
Because of this extreme heat, scientists think that Venus may have oceans beneath its thick clouds, making Venus a prime target for future space missions.
One such mission is called the Oceanus Probeship. It will study how life might survive under these conditions.
If you don’t have a telescope, you can see Venus with the naked eye. All you need to do is locate the constellation Leo.
Look for the brightest star in the constellation, which is Regulus. Then, focus on the part of the sky where the two stars are located.
From there, you should be able to spot Venus.
What Does The Leo Constellation Look Like?
The Leo constellation often appears in two parts: one part looks like a backward question mark, and the other looks like a triangle towards the back.
Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. It also happens to be the fourth nearest planet to the sun.
Jupiter is made mainly of hydrogen gas, making it extremely bright.
You can actually make out features like clouds and storms on Jupiter with a telescope.
But if you want to see Jupiter with the naked eye, try locating the constellation Orion.
Once you’ve found Orion, follow the line down until you find the Big Dipper. Just below the handle of the dipper, you’ll find Jupiter.
What Does The Orion Constellation Look Like?
The Orion constellation is easy to find. It consists of seven stars that merge to form an hour-glass like shape.
Orion’s Belt is often one of the most attention-catching features of a clear night sky, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble locating it.
Saturn is the second-largest planet in our solar system. It’s also the fifth closest planet to the sun.
Like Jupiter, Saturn is made almost entirely of hydrogen gas. But unlike Jupiter, Saturn has an atmosphere that contains methane.
Because of this, you can actually see Saturn’s rings with the naked eye. You can find Saturn by looking for the constellation Cassiopeia.
After you’ve found Cassiopeia, look for the three stars that form a triangle shape. Those stars are called Spica, Arcturus, and Vega.
They’re the brightest stars in the constellation, which means they point directly to Saturn.
What Does The Cassiopeia Constellation Look Like?
The Cassiopeia constellation is easy to find. It’s pretty small, and it closely resembles the letter “M”.
Mars is the third largest planet in the Solar System. It’s also the second most distant planet from the Sun.
When viewed through a telescope, you can even see mountains on Mars.
It is possible to view Mars without a telescope. The best way to spot it is to use the constellation Virgo.
Look along the curved lines that connect the stars, and you’ll then be able to locate Mars.
Is It Dangerous To Look At Planets Without A Telescope?
No! Looking at planets with your own eyes is safe.
None of them will be bright enough to harm your eyes, especially without a telescope; however, you may strain your eyes whilst seeking them out, so remember to take a break and rest your peepers if they start feeling irritated.
How Do I Know If My Eyesight Is Good Enough For Astronomy?
There are several factors that determine whether or not someone has good vision enough to observe the night sky.
For example, some people have perfect vision and can easily identify objects as small as one-tenth of an inch.
Other people may need corrective lenses to help them see such small cosmic artifacts.
How Do I Know How Far Away Something Is In Space?
If you don’t know how far something is, you can estimate its distance by multiplying the object’s size by ten.
So, if you want to know how far the moon is away, multiply the diameter of the moon (3,476 miles) by 10.
Then divide the answer by the time it takes light to travel the same distance. In other words: 3,476 x 10 = 34,760.
Divide that number by .0005 seconds, which equals 740,000. Now you know that the moon is about 740,000 feet away.
What Conditions Are Best To See Planets Without A Telescope?
Planets can be seen during any season of the year. However, the best times to see planets are between November and March.
During these months, there are fewer clouds in the sky. And because the air is thinner, you won’t have to strain your eyes too much.
The universe is a big place.
Although it’s impossible to see all of it with the naked eye, there are plenty of planets we can see without a telescope.
So the next time you have a clear night sky, why not take a look for yourself?
Remember to follow the appropriate constellations to find the planets you’re looking for, and prepare to be amazed by the beauty of the universe!
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