I usually post a planetary elongation chart around Christmas showing where the bright planets will be the following year. Went a bit mad earlier in the year and really streamlined the process of making those charts. In a nutshell I’ve generated charts all the way out to the year 2050. You can find them here.
This is the chart for 2018.
A quick example to explain how this works. Suppose you want to know where the planets are on August 1st 2018.
Look down the left or right side to find the start of August. The Sun runs down the middle dividing the sky into evening and morning. On August 1st:
- Mercury is in the evening sky but too close to the Sun to be seen (within the yellow twilight zone).
- Venus is in the evening sky on the border of Leo and Virgo. Just beyond the yellow zone so visible for a short time after twilight before setting.
- Jupiter and Saturn are visible in the evening sky in the constellations Libra and Sagittarius respectively.
- Mars – near the left edge – is almost 180 degrees from the Sun. Mars is just past opposition in Capricornus so it will be visible all night and highest in the sky at midnight.
Intersections indicate one planet overtaking another – events called conjunctions. Astrologers love them. Astronomers just think they’re pretty but not really significant.