See five planets align in the sky without a telescope, in rare celestial show

2016-01-20 13:29

Cape Town - For the first time in 11 years, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, will all be visible at once with the naked eye.

According to EarthSky.org, the five planets are considered bright enough to be easily viewed without an optical aid, especially if the sky is clear. The ideal time to view all the planets in a row is about 45 minutes before sunrise and they will be visible each day before dawn from January 20 through to February 20, 2016.

The five bright planets will be aligned diagonally, stretching from low in the east to higher in the north. According to Phys.org, Jupiter can be seen in the north, followed by Mars, then Saturn and Venus. Mercury will initially appear low to the eastern horizon but will steadily rise higher each morning.

The event is a rare occurrence and is happening for the first time since the planets previously aligned in January 2005.

People who want to see the planets are cautioned to steer clear from viewing in areas with big city lights and to rather rely on natural lighting (if any). Vox reports that it will be best to view on a higher plane with little or no obstructions from buildings and trees.

People around the world can use the moon as a guide to view the display of planets from January 28 to February 7. You can also use these almanacs recommended by EarthSky.org to help you find out when each planet rises in different locations.

- Catch sight of this rare planet showcase and send us your photographs: feedback@news24.com.

Read more on:    cape town  |  astronomy  |  space

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