Find planets quickly
10 Finding ’wandering stars’ should be difficult, and most people think that planets can be seen at any time and in any position in the night sky. After all, planets are always moving as they orbit the Sun at different speeds. In fact, it’s easy to find planets because there’s a line going from east to west across the night sky on which all planets are found. This is the ecliptic, and it’s the path the Sun takes across the daytime sky. Note where sunrise and sunset take place, and have a rough idea of where the Sun is at noon, and you’ve got it. The ecliptic is nothing short of the flat plane of the Solar System, which stargazers get to see side-on, and it’s here – and only here – that you’ll see planets during darkness. So don’t ever look to the north, or directly above, and speculate whether a bright star could be a planet. It’s way simpler than that.