Here's what to do to view the five aligned planets in the morning sky

Here's what to do to view the five aligned planets in the morning sky

Five planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – will be visible together in the morning sky from today until around February 20, a phenomenon that has not happened since 2005.

Robin Scagell, vice-president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, explains how best to spot them:

:: Get up early and make sure you have a clear view to the south east or south.

:: The planets will be visible with the naked eye, though better views will be through a telescope or powerful binoculars.

:: The five planets will be strung out in a line stretching from the horizon, from the south east to the south west, in the order of Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter.

:: Some bright stars will also be visible, including Antares and Spica, but the planets will be brightest things to see.

:: Observing the stars will be best between 7am and 7.30am each morning, with those in southern areas having to look a bit earlier than those in the north because it gets light about 15 minutes earlier in the south.

:: Jupiter and Venus will be brilliant, and Saturn and Mars will be visible between them. Mercury will be the hardest to see because of its position near the horizon.

:: To help people spot them they can follow the general rule that planets do not twinkle, whereas stars do.

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