5 planets to appear together for 1st time in 11 years
For the first time in a more than a decade, all five of the visible planets will be making an appearance together.
Starting Wednesday, early morning star gazers will be treated to a view of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn at the same time. The so-called visible planets will stick together for a whole month, with the show ending Feb. 20.
The five planets are often called the “bright” planets or “visible” planets because they are “easily viewed without an optical aid” and have “been watched by our ancestors since time immemorial,” according to a post from Earth Sky.
“These planets are easily seen in our sky because their disks reflect sunlight, and these relatively nearby worlds tend to shine with a steadier light than the distant, twinkling stars,” the post reads.
While the bright planets all make regular appearances in the night sky, this is the first time they have been visible at the same time since January 2005. Starting with Jupiter in the evening, each planet will rise at a different time to be present in the sky together just before dawn.