Five Planets

See All Five Naked Eye Planets at Once

From 24th January to about 6th February, you have a rare chance to see all five naked eye planets at once in the morning sky.
Looking from left to right, or East to West, they will be: Mercury, Venus. Saturn, Mars, Jupiter.
The latter 4 are easy to see, just before the dawn sky brightens. But we have to wait until about 24th Jan  to first glimpse elusive little Mercury, which is always the hardest to see:
Mercury will be easiest to see from about 28th Jan to 2nd Feb, but you can start looking from about 24th Jan in case the skies are cloudy later. The group will be joined by the waning crescent Moon from 31st January.
You should start looking from about 45 minutes before sunrise, say about 07.30, and you'll need a good clear view right down to the horizon in the South East.
Venus will be by far the brightest, a brilliant beacon above the SE horizon. Look about a handspan to the left of Venus, and slightly below it, to try to spot Mercury, which will be much fainter, and not easy to find in the twilight glow. Use binoculars to find it at first if you have them.
Once you've found Mercury, go back to Venus, and then follow that line across the sky to find Saturn (quite bright, creamy white), Mars (moderately bright, reddish) and Jupiter, the second brightest, and white). Altogether they will span more than halfway across the sky.
The group will be joined by the waning crescent moon from 1 February onwards, making an even more glorious sight. The Moon will be close to Mars on 1st Feb , and will form a nice triangle above Venus and Mercury on 6th Feb.
And there will also be 2 bright stars in the line-up as well! Lovely blue-white Spica will lie between Mars and Jupiter, and noticeably red Antares will lie below right of Saturn.
A sight not to be missed!

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