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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Planets In The News

If you haven't heard, until February 20th, providing clear skies

 Amateur astronomers will be able to view the following planets lined up together.

Beginning with the moon and ending with the sun:

[Moon]   Jupiter, Mars, Saturn Venus, Mercury   [Sun] 

Tip: Jupiter is the Brightest star to the left side of the moon.  Mercury is fairly bright to closest to the sun, but can be seen clearly before sunrise. The other planets are not quite as bright.

The visual is at a some what diagonal start across the upper southwestern sky.  

Beginning in the West with the Moon and ending at sunrise with the sun of course. 

Viewing: The best time to view is at or about an hour before sunrise to sunrise. Most viewers will get a view of all of the planets briefly and they will fade in the morning sky.

The last time this happened was in 2005. This occurance will happen again in August of 2016 briefly but it will be slightly harder to view all planets. This occurance is set to happen again in or around the year 2027.

You DO NOT need a telescope or binoculars to view this foramtion. This can be seen with the naked eye. However, you will have a spectacular view through a telescope or binoculars.

Some resources to bookmark for later:

Download the Night Sky App  [The may or may not offer a FREE version anymore]

Happy Star Gazing!

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