The other planets that we can see from Earth without a telescope (Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter) appear so bright not because they produce their own light, but reflect the light of the Sun back towards Earth. They do this much in the same way our moon reflects the Sun’s light back to Earth, giving it its glow. Venus appears the brightest in the sky of all the planets because of it’s brightly colored atmospheric clouds, and that it is the closest planet to Earth. Mars appears as a reddish light in the sky when seen, and Mercury appears like a dimmer version of Venus. When using a telescope, Jupiter’s colored stripes can be distinguished.
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