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The Night Sky City Pages display where and when the planets in our solar system are visible in the sky from a location of your choice.

What Does the Night Sky City Page Show?

Night time

Night Time shows the beginning and end times for the coming night, as well as its duration. This is the time span between sunset and sunrise, and it includes the three phases of twilight in the morning and evening. Because of this, the period displayed under Night Time includes periods when the sky is not completely dark and when it is difficult to see the fainter planets.

Please note: Before noon, this page shows the planet visibility for the previous night. It switches to the coming night at noon local time (page reload needed).

Visible night of... / Visible tonight

The Visible night of... section shows the rise or set times of the visible planets in the coming night. From designates the time the planet rises; Until marks a planet's set time.

If you visit the page before noon local time, planet visibility will be shown for the previous night-time. After noon local time, planet visibility will be shown for the upcoming night (page reload needed).

Search for a different location

Use the search field to open the Night Sky City Page for a different location. The search supports ZIP and postal codes for the United States (5-digit ZIP codes only), Canada (first 3 letters/digits only), Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Norway.

You can also enter geographic coordinates (longitude and latitude) to find the same information for any place on Earth. Enter a number into the search field to see a list of permitted formats.

Problems? See “The city search lists several places with the same name. Which is the one I'm looking for?” in the FAQ: Troubleshooting section below.

Weather, Time Zone, DST, and Sun & Moon tabs

Use the navigation tabs next to the search field to access the Main City Page (Time/General tab) or other sub-pages dedicated to specific topics, such as Weather, Time Zone, and DST Changes in the city.

Interactive Night Sky Map

The Night Sky Map near the top of the page represents the sky above the selected location on a date and at a time of your choice. It allows you to easily locate a planet, the Moon, or the Sun and track their movements across the sky in the chosen time period. It also shows all solar and lunar eclipses.

See How to Use the Interactive Night Sky Map section below for instructions.

Tonight's Sky in...

The Tonight's Sky in... section lists all planets that are visible from the selected location and their rise or set times in the coming night. Planets that are not visible at night during the current time of the year are omitted here. Before noon local time, planet visibility for the previous night is shown.

Click on one of the planets to see more information. The horizontal line on the graph signifies the horizon and the curved line represents the planet's apparent movements from the perspective of the selected location.

Rise and Set mark the moments when the planet crosses the horizon; Meridian is the moment when it reaches the highest position in the sky, appearing either due north, due south, or in the zenith position directly overhead. The darker shading represents night time while the lighter shading shows the twilight phases.

The graph defaults to the current time. Move over it with your mouse to select a different time. Below the graph, you will find the planet's altitude and direction at the selected time. These are the coordinates you need to locate the planet in the sky. Learn about how to use them here.

Planets Visible in...

The table at the bottom of the page offers the option to find out concise planet visibility data for a date of your choice. Use the drop-down menus above the table to select a different date.

How to Use the Interactive Night Sky Map

Selecting an object

The Interactive Night Sky Map allows you to easily locate a planet, the Moon, or the Sun and to track its movement across the sky above the selected location during the chosen time period.

To select an object, click on the search icon at the top to bring up the object selector (if it is not already open). Then click on one of the planets, the Moon, or the Sun. Alternatively, click on an object in the sky.

To stop following an object,close the info box on the left by clicking on the X.

The object selector shows rise (upward arrow ) and set (downward arrow ) times for each planet or celestial object, if applicable. If the object does not rise, or if it remains invisible from the selected location for other reasons, Not visible is shown instead, usually accompanied by an explanation of why the object is expected to remain invisible. Some examples:

  • Polar day: The Sun does not set in the selected location on the selected date (Midnight Sun).
  • Down at night: The planet or object is below the horizon during most or all of the night.
  • Does not rise: The planet or object does not rise above the horizon on the selected date at all.

Locating and tracking an object

Once you have selected an object to follow (see Selecting an object for instructions), the Interactive Night Sky Map will locate the object in the sky and provide handy information for viewing it.

The object itself is marked and named in the sky, even at times when it is not visible. The curved line represents the object's apparent path across the sky during the selected date (noon to noon), as seen from the selected location. The solid portion of the line shows the object's movement before the currently shown point in time; the dotted portion shows its movement after that moment. The path line can be switched on or off in the Settings.

Note: The path line always covers a 24-hour period (noon to noon). By far most of the object's apparent movement is caused by the Earth's rotation. However, since the planets and the Moon are in constant motion and the Sun also shifts its apparent position each day in relation to the Earth, their position in the sky changes slightly from one noon to the next. For this reason, the beginning and end of the path line may not join up. While the planets only move very slightly in relation to the stars during 24 hours, some celestial objects, such as the Moon, cover a comparatively large daily distance, causing a clearly visible gap between the beginning and end of the path line. This is not an error but a realistic representation of their actual movement.

The info box on the left shows

  • the object's name,
  • rise, set, and best viewing times (if applicable),
  • its altitude and direction at the selected moment,
  • an abbreviation of the general compass direction (N = north, E = East, S = South, W = West),
  • a verbal, color-coded indication of the viewing conditions, and
  • an icon indicating if the planet is visible to the naked eye
    or if you need binoculars
    or a telescope
    to see it. (Binoculars are displayed if the apparent magnitude is 5-10 mag; a telescope is shown if it is greater than 10. Both magnitude figures are adjusted for atmospheric absorption, based on an extinction coefficient of 0.25.)

Click on the Rise, Best, or Set times to jump to that moment in the animation.

Please see Object visibility for more information about object brightness and viewing conditions.

Selecting a date and time

The Interactive Night Sky Map defaults to the current date and time (real-time mode). Click on the calendar at the bottom of the animation to select a different date.

Note: If you change the date while not tracking a planet or object, the object selector will be re-opened, providing you with an updated visibility forecast for the selected date.

To select a time of day, drag the progress bar at the bottom of the animated map. Alternatively, click on the time display at the bottom (on mobile devices, tap on the clock icon) and enter or select a time. If you use the 12-hour clock format, you can also click on AM or PM to switch between the two. You can change the clock format in our sitewide settings.

Due to limitations in mobile operating systems, you can only select hours and minutes on mobile devices.

  • The animation always encompasses a 24-hour period, from noon to noon.
  • If you view the animation before 12:00 noon, it defaults to the previous night (yesterday's noon until today's noon); after 12:00 noon, it shows the upcoming night (today's noon until tomorrow's noon).
  • The same is the case for the dates you select manually. For instance, if you choose Wednesday, October 24, it will show the period starting at noon on the day before (i.e., from noon on October 23 to noon on October 24); after 12:00 noon, it will display the time from noon on the date you selected (i.e., from noon on October 24 to noon on October 25).

Play, fast forward, and rewind

Use the play fast forward , and rewind buttons at the bottom to animate the sky map.

Note: Even in play mode, the animation is sped up and does not represent true speed. The only way to play the animation in real speed is by clicking on LIVE, which will launch real-time mode.

Real-time animation

Click on LIVE at the bottom to see a representation of the current sky above the selected location. Click again or drag the progress bar to leave real-time mode. Selecting a different date or time will also deactivate real-time mode.

Object visibility

Once you have selected an object to follow, the Interactive Night Sky Map gives a general indication of the viewing conditions for that object.

  • The progress bar is color-coded to visualize the stages of visibility over the course of the selected date, ranging from a shade of red (no visibility) to a shade of green (best possible visibility). Hover your mouse over the progress bar to make the colors more visible.
  • The info box on the left of the animation screen provides an additional description of the viewing conditions. It employs the same color code as the progress bar. It also includes an eye icon
    , a binocular icon
    , or a telescope icon
    to indicate if the object is visible to the naked eye or if you will need viewing aids, such as binoculars or a telescope, to see it.

The visibility prediction is based on factors like the object's location in the sky, its apparent distance from the horizon and the Sun, and the intensity of sunlight, including the twilight phases. It currently does not factor in the object's apparent distance from the Moon. Weather conditions are not taken into account either, so please keep an eye on the weather forecast for your city before heading out to watch the sky.

Looking around

The Interactive Night Sky Map can be dragged in any direction above the horizon. Use the compass directions at the bottom to keep your bearings. On desktop computers, you can click the compass needle on the right to face north.

Use the plus and minus buttons to zoom in and out.

On most mobile devices, the animation offers a 360-degree mode which allows you to steer the sky map by pointing your device at the sky, using it like a camera. To activate, simply tap on on the right.

360-degree mode (mobile only)

On most mobile devices, the animation offers a 360-degree mode which allows you to steer the sky map by pointing your device at the sky. To activate, simply tap on on the right and use your device like a camera to control the map's orientation.

Animation settings

Click on the gear wheel icon at the bottom to access the settings menu. The following settings are available:

  • Follow selected object: Enable to always keep the selected object on the screen by following its movement across the sky.
  • Constellations: Show or hide the constellations in the star map.
  • Object's daily path: Show or hide the line marking the apparent movement of the selected object across the sky on the chosen date (noon to noon).
  • Compass directions: Show or hide the directions at the bottom of the animation.
  • Elevated horizon: Switch between a flat horizon and a more realistic horizon with hills. Note that neither option depicts the actual horizon at the selected location.

FAQ: Troubleshooting

Why does it still show the info for last night?

The page is updated at noon local time, so it shows last night's information before that. That said, the Interactive Night Sky Map allows you to select any date and time (see Selecting a date and time for instructions).

Why is a planet or object marked as “Not visible” even though rise and set times are shown?

There are several reasons why a planet or object may remain invisible even though it rises above the horizon. It may be too bright at night or the object may only rise above the horizon during daylight hours.

When that is the case, the object selector marks the object as Not visible, and it usually also provides a reason, such as:

  • Polar day: The Sun does not set in the selected location on the selected date (Midnight Sun).
  • Down at night: The planet or object is below the horizon during most or all of the night.
  • Does not rise: The planet or object does not rise above the horizon on the selected date at all.

However, if you select the object, its rise and set times will still be shown in the info box on the left.

Why does the visibility forecast in the Night Sky Map differ from the lists below?

The Interactive Night Sky Map takes into account more parameters to determine the expected visibility of a planet or object than the tables below the map. If in doubt, go with the prediction shown in the Night Sky Map.

Why does the Night Sky Map not work on my mobile device?

On most mobile devices, you need to enter full-screen mode to use the Interactive Night Sky Map. To do so, simply tap on the animation (it usually shows an icon depicting a hand pressing a button).

If it still does not work for you, please let us know.

I am on a mobile device. Why isn't the 360-degree mode showing?

Unfortunately, some older mobile devices do not support the 360-degree mode. If you have a newer device with updated software and cannot view the compass option, or if the sky map is showing you the wrong directions, please follow these steps:

  • Calibrate your device's built-in compass by using the method provided by the manual. Sometimes stepping out of a building and walking around with your device pointed toward the sky can help.
  • Pro tip on checking if your phone compass is showing the wrong direction: open a navigation app and see if it shows the right direction for a preferred location. If it is not, calibrate your phone's compass by following the steps provided by your manual.
  • If the compass is calibrated and the sky map still doesn't work or shows the wrong direction, try using a different browser.

Why aren't all planets shown in the lists?

The lists of planets near the top of the page and under Tonight's Sky in... only shows the planets that are visible during that night.

Please note that we do not include Pluto because it is no longer classified as a planet. In any case, you would need quite a powerful telescope to see Pluto.

Why is Pluto not included?

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) issued an official definition of what constitutes a planet. This definition excludes Pluto, so it has since been classified as a dwarf planet. That is why we don't include it here. In any case, you would need quite a powerful telescope to see Pluto.

Why aren't the two ends of the path line in the Night Sky Map connected?

The Interactive Night Sky Map always covers a 24-hour period (noon to noon). Since the planets and the Moon are in constant motion and the Sun also shifts its apparent position each day in relation to the Earth, their position in the sky changes slightly from one noon to the next.

For this reason, the beginning and end of the path line may not join up. While the planets only move very slightly in relation to the stars during 24 hours, some celestial objects, such as the Moon, cover a comparatively large daily distance, causing a clearly visible gap between the beginning and end of the path line. This is not an error but a realistic representation of their actual movement.

Why isn't my town included?

Our database of locations includes thousands of cities worldwide, and we now offer an additional 6 million places via the GeoNames database. If you still don't find your town, please let us know, and we will consider adding it.

The city search lists several places with the same name. Which is the one I'm looking for?

When you type the location into the search field and it suggests several places by the same name, first have a look at the country flag and the description in parentheses to identify the city you are looking for. If it is still unclear, click on one of the locations and check the geographical position on the map or click on the Time/General tab and check the longitude/latitude information shown near the top of the page.

FAQ: General Info & Instructions

I see a very bright star every evening/night/morning. Which planet is that?

If you are seeing a bright star or planet, and you have a mobile device on you, open the Interactive Night Sky Map and enter your location. Then close the planet selection box, and select 360-degree mode by tapping on the compass needle on the right. Then point your device at the object you are seeing, using it like a camera. The object should now be shown in the Night Sky Map. Tap on it to find out its name.

To find the same information after you have witnessed a bright object in the sky, follow these steps:

  • In the Interactive Night Sky Map, select your location (see Search for a different location for instructions) and the date and time you saw the object (see Selecting a date and time for instructions).
  • Drag the sky map into the approximate direction you saw the planet. Use the direction markers at the bottom of the animation for orientation.
  • Find the object in the sky map. The constellations may help you to locate it.
  • On desktop, hover your mouse over the object to find out its name; planets can be clicked for more information. On mobile, tap on the object to find out its name and more.

For an indication of the visibility of the planets at different times of the year, please go to the Planet Distance page, select Brightness at the top, and enter a date at the bottom of the graph. If the star you are witnessing is very bright, it is probably one of the planets shown on the left side of the graph.

Which planet is the evening star or morning star?

If you are seeing a bright star or planet, and you have a mobile device on you, open the Interactive Night Sky Map and enter your location. Then close the planet selection box, and select 360-degree mode by tapping on the compass needle on the right. Then point your device at the object you are seeing, using it like a camera. The object should now be shown in the Night Sky Map. Tap on it to find out its name.

To find the same information after you have witnessed a bright object in the sky, follow these steps:

  • In the Interactive Night Sky Map, select your location (see Search for a different location for instructions) and the date and time you saw the object (see Selecting a date and time for instructions).
  • Drag the sky map into the approximate direction you saw the planet. Use the direction markers at the bottom of the animation for orientation.
  • Find the object in the sky map. The constellations may help you to locate it.
  • On desktop, hover your mouse over the object to find out its name; planets can be clicked for more information. On mobile, tap on the object to find out its name and more.

For an indication of the visibility of the planets at different times of the year, please go to the Planet Distance page, select Brightness at the top, and enter a date at the bottom of the graph. If the star you are witnessing is very bright, it is probably one of the planets shown on the left side of the graph.

How do I select a different planet or object in the Interactive Night Sky Map?

To select a different object in the night sky animation, click on the magnifying glass in the top-right corner and click on the object you wish to locate and track.

What do the eye, binoculars, and telescope symbols in the Night Sky Map mean?

The eye, binoculars, and telescope icons shown in the info box on the left are indications of the expected brightness and visibility of the selected object at the selected time. The eye icon means that the object is visible to the naked eye; the binocular icon is shown if the object can only be seen with binoculars (apparent magnitude 5-10 mag); the telescope icon is shown for very faint objects (apparent magnitude greater than 10 mag) that can only be seen through a telescope.

All magnitude figures are adjusted for atmospheric absorption, based on an extinction coefficient of 0.25.

Does the Interactive Night Sky Map also show eclipses?

Yes, the animation correctly reflects all solar and lunar eclipses. To test this, please find an eclipse in our eclipse database, select a location where the eclipse is visible (see Search for a different location for instructions), and select the correct date and time in the Night Sky Map (see Selecting a date and time for instructions).

How do altitude and direction (azimuth) work?

You will find them explained here.

What does meridian mean?

A location's meridian is an imaginary line running along the Earth's surface from the North Pole to the South Pole and crossing the location. When a planet is directly above your location's meridian, it reaches its highest position in the sky and appears either due north, due south, or in the zenith position directly overhead.

Can I use ZIP or other postal codes to search for a city?

Yes, our city search engine supports ZIP and postal codes for the United States (5-digit zip codes only), Canada (first 3 letters/digits only), Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Norway.

Do you offer this information for any place on Earth?

Yes, you can look up any location by entering geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) into the search field.

Please use one of the following formats:

  • Degrees and minutes, e.g., 40.42N 73.59W
  • Decimal format, e.g., 40.71 -73.98

How do I search by coordinates (latitude and longitude)?

You can look up any location on Earth by entering geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) into the search field.

Please use one of the following formats:

  • Degrees and minutes, e.g., 40.42N 73.59W
  • Decimal format, e.g., 40.71 -73.98

How does your algorithm work? Can you help me program my own?

We are a small team with a very extensive website to manage, so, unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to share detailed information about our algorithms or provide programming help.

Where can I find more information about the site and its services?

The General FAQ Page answers your questions about timeanddate.com, our services, site-wide settings and customization options, as well as advertising and copyright policies.

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