Watch the Planet ParadeAmy Walsh (Author) Published Date : Feb 01, 2016 15:53 ET
Five planets will align in the early morning sky for the first time in eleven years and the alignment will be completely visible to the naked eye. Astronomers put optimal viewing at 45 minutes before sunrise.
To anyone looking south on a clear morning the planets will appear in this order from left to right: Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, then Jupiter. The brightest of these will be Venus. No telescope is needed, just gaze up from most anywhere in the world. All five planets will appear together until February 20.
This Parade of Planets will be on display each morning through the mid-February. The display won t be visible all night. Any earlier, Mercury will be low on the horizon.
Each morning, the Moon will slide farther up the line of planets. Here is the location of the moon by date:
January 28th: The Moon will pair with Jupiter
February 1st: The Moon will pair with Mars
February 3rd: The Moon will pair with Saturn
February 5th: The Moon with pair with Venus
February 6th: The Moon with pair with Mercury
The five planets will be together again in August and again in 2020 but Mercury will be even harder to see. Stargazers will need to get up early, with Associate Professor Charley Lineweaver telling ABC the planets will be best viewed just before sunrise.
Watch the Planet Parade