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Jupiter gleams, Mars glides past Saturn

July 2008: The solar system's largest planet reaches opposition this month.
Jupiter, the solar system's largest planet, reaches opposition this month, which means the giant world is at its best and brightest all night. Mars chases Saturn above the western horizon in early evening, and the pair enjoys a fine conjunction mid-month. Then, around midnight, the "binocular planets" rise &#8212 first Neptune, then, an hour later, Uranus. If your observing stamina lasts through the night early this month, watch for Mercury greeting you in the predawn twilight.

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