Feb 16 2016

See all five visible planets together tomorrow morning


Venus seen from Uralba in January

Hop out of bed before sunrise at 6.30am tomorrow to see all five visible planets together in the morning sky. This ‘alignment of the planets‘ will be visible till the end of February.
The five planets that are visible to the naked eye have been identified since most ancient times Wheres the stars are fixed in their constellations, the planets wander across the night sky. Indeed, the word ‘planet’ is derived from the Ancient Greek ἀστήρ πλανήτης astēr planētēs’ , or wandering star.


The picture above from The Planets Today  shows the position of the planets in their orbits around the sun today. You can see us at 6.10am in Alstonweb as the bright little dot on the Earth. In this diagram, the earth rotates clockwise. Mercury came into view over the horizon at 4.50am. If we look towards the horizon now, we will see Mercury, then Venus, then Saturn, then Mars and Jupiter will be overhead. At 6.30 the sun will be up over the horizon and the planets will be drowned out by its brightness.



The planets align like this about every 12 years, although in the Southern Hemisphere we will get another chance to see the planets align in October this year, this time in the evening sky.

The Star Walk App from the European Space Agency allows you to point your iPhone or iPad at the night sky and it shows you what you are looking at.

The Planets App has information about all the planets

What I Learnt On 16th February in other years

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