5 planets to align in sky for first time in 10 years

Using planetarium software Stellarium, this illustration depicts the location of the five planets in the early morning of Jan. 20, 2016. Courtesy Stellarium

If you’re a morning person, head outside over the next month for a planetary treat.

Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter will all be lined up in the morning sky, stretching from east to west.

Jupiter is the highest in the sky, lying in the southwest. It rises first in the evening sky, shortly after 10 p.m. Mars will have risen after 2 a.m., followed by Saturn and Venus a couple of hours later.

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As for Mercury, due to its proximity to the sun (being the nearest planet to our star), it’s a bit trickier to make out. It rises just after 7 a.m.

Venus will be the brightest planet near the horizon. Jupiter is the second-brightest, with Saturn third brightest and Mars being the dimmest between Saturn and Jupiter.

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This is the first time these planets have been aligned since 2005. And even better is that you will be able to catch all five of these night sky jewels all the way until Feb. 20.

Though it’s been 10 years since the last time these planets were aligned, the next alignment isn’t so far off: all five will once again meet in the night sky from Aug. 13 to 19 (but they won’t be lined up).

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