Five major planets in our solar system are lined up in a row for a rare planetary conjunction visible with the naked eye.
In a clear sky, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn can be seen shining before dawn.
It’s a special opportunity to see Mercury, which is usually obscured from view by the Sun’s bright light.
The last time this conjunction happened was 2004 and it won’t be seen again until 2040.
It is also a special event because the planets appear in the order they are positioned from the sun.
That isn’t always the case for planetary conjunctions because of our perspective from Earth looking into the solar system, Prof Green says.
The northern hemisphere, including the UK, can get the best views between 45 and 90 minutes before sunrise. Look eastwards and very close to the horizon, ideally from a high spot like a hill. Large buildings or trees will obscure the view. You’ll need to rise early, because as soon as the sun comes up it will wash out the sky, obscuring the planets.
Observers in the tropics and the southern hemisphere should get better views because the planets will rise higher in the pre-dawn sky, but an early start will still be needed.
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