Planetary Alignment 2016

five planet alignment

Tomorrow, 20th January, for the next month, you will be able to see five planets of our solar system align in the night sky.

When can I see the Planetary Alignment 2016​

For the next month, if you look out into the morning sky, just before sunrise, you'll see the beautiful sight of Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus, and Mercury stretching from the South East across the southern sky.

What will I see first when the planets align

Jupiter will rise earliest in the evening sky, followed by Mars which will glow less brightly, but with a red tint to it​.

Saturn is next, but to see its rings you may need a good telescope. I remember the first time I saw the rings of Saturn - it was a very special moment in my night sky viewing past - if and when you see them, you'll know what I mean.

Venus, the next brightest object in the night sky after the Moon, is next, followed quickly by Mercury.

Mercury will be very close to the horizon, so any hills, buildings or trees could be enough to hide it from you.

However, even just being able to spot the other 4 planets, and 5 if you are lucky enough to have a flat horizon, is a sight to make the effort to see if you are interested in the night sky.

What do I need to see the 5 planets align

Best of all, you don't need any special equipment​ to see them - just look in the early morning sky.

If you are lucky enough to have good binoculars, or a telescope, then you may see some of the moons of the planets, or the rings of Saturn, or the red spot on Jupiter - but just looking, for me anyway (without my telescope), will be an amazing sight.

You'll have another chance to see the planets aligned like this in August 2016, but after that, not until 2018 - so if you're up and about before sunrise over the next month, then just take a peak outside into the night sky. You may just see something amazing!

Let me know in the comments below if you do - I'd love you to share your thoughts and pictures if you take any.

All the best, Mark​

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