When my daughter and I wish on the “first star I see tonight,” are we really wishing on a planet? How can we tell one from the other?
Most likely that first bright star is a planet, but binoculars can probably help you tell for sure. Even a cheap pair will usually add enough magnification so that you can make out a planet. You can also try looking for the bright star night after night and notice if it seems to move across the sky against the backdrop of the other stars. If so, it’s a planet, living up to its Greek name, which means “wanderer.”
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