PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – After a couple of cloudy days, it is time to clear the skies, giving us an opportunity to look up!
If you take the chance early Thursday, you will be treated to four planets, just before sunrise.
Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn will be visible, clumped together in the southeast sky, 20° to 25° above the horizon. The fourth visible planet is Mercury.
Mercury will be located just above the horizon in the east-southeast sky.
All four planets will be visible from about 6:20 a.m. until the sun filters them out of view.
Mercury will be the first planet that will disappear from view.
To see the planets, it is helpful to have a sky watching app on your device: I use Sky Map by Google.
If waking up early isn’t your thing, you have a great, five-minute opportunity to see the International Space Station in the evening.
From 8:26 p.m. until 8:31 p.m., the International Space Station will fly over our region.
These times are EXACT for the Pittsburgh area, so don’t be late.
The Space Station will appear 11° above the NNW horizon and travel across the sky, disappearing 11° above the ENE horizon.
The International Space Station looks like a moving star or an airplane without blinking lights.
If you are not in the Pittsburgh area, you too, weather permitting, have chances to see the International Space Station.
Your times will be a little different, and you can figure those times out here.
Whether you are sky gazing in the morning, evening, or both, you do not need the help of a telescope to see the planets or the International Space Station.
It could help enhance the experience, but it is certainly not necessary.
Make sure to share pictures of what you see, or selfies of yourself outside!