2024 Apparitions of the Inferior Planets from Latitude 10° North

What is an Apparition?

An apparition of a planet is the period during which it is visible, beginning and ending with solar conjunction. In the cases of the inferior planets Mercury and Venus, it is the time between inferior and superior conjunction (morning apparition) and the time between superior and inferior conjunction (evening apparition). Because inferior planets are always near the Sun, they only appear in the east before sunrise and the west after sunset.

Below are a series of diagrams showing the morning and evening apparitions of Mercury and Venus as observed from latitude 10° north. The planet is shown on the 1st, 6th, 11th, 16th, 21st and 26th days of each month with the current year's positions shown in bright white. The path may extend from the previous year or into the next.


Mercury undergoes several morning and evening apparitions every year. Morning apparitions occur between inferior conjunction (when the planet is at its dimmest) and superior conjunction (when the planet is at its brightest) whereas evening apparitions always start bright and end with the planet around sixth magnitude. This year, Mercury begins and ends the year at dawn, appearing four times in the east, and showing itself in the evening three times.

The morning apparitions of Mercury in 2024 as seen from latitude 10° north.

Following on from last year, the first morning apparition (blue track) is the best appearance in the east of Mercury at this latitude, with the bright planet reaching an altitude of 21.9° on 11 January. The April–June apparition (pink track) is also favourable, with Mercury rising to a height of 20.0° four months later. The third apparition which occurs in August and September (green track) is the worst morning appearance this year. However, Mercury does reach 16.9° above the eastern horizon in early September. The final apparition of December (orange track) is another good one, with Mercury reaching 21.1° shortly before the end of the year.

The evening apparitions of Mercury in 2024 as seen from latitude 10° north.

First is worst when it comes to evening apparitions. Mercury appears on the western horizon at the end of February, rising to 16.7° in late March. However, the next appearance from mid-June to mid-August (pink track) is the best chance observers at this latitude have of seeing the elusive planet after sunset. Mercury soars to an altitude of 23.7° in mid-July. The final apparition (green track) begins in October, finishing in early December, with the tiny planet appearing as high as 18.4° in mid-November.


Venus is the morning star as the year opens, passing into the western sky in early June where it remains until late-March 2025.

The morning apparitions of Venus in 2024 as seen from latitude 10° north.

The year dawns with Venus in the latter stages of the 2023 morning apparition. The morning star is already descending toward the horizon, beginning with an altitude of 35.7° on the first day of 2024. The morning star vanishes just before superior conjunction in early June.

The evening apparitions of Venus in 2024 as seen from latitude 10° north.

This year sees an excellent return to the evening sky of Venus. First appearing low in the west-northwest in mid-June, the evening star steadily gains altitude, ending the year at a height of 45.5° above the horizon.