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Celestial Rarity: Five Planets Align Tomorrow

For all five visible planets to line up is rare and wonderful.

Starting tomorrow and until February 20, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter will all be visible from Earth. But wait, there’s more: Early on the morning of January 20, for the first time in a decade, these five planets will appear in a diagonal row, visible to the naked eye.


Alan Duffy, a research fellow at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, told Australian Geographic that this alignment is “essentially a quirk” of the universe. All the planets have different cycles—so for all five planets to line up is rare and wonderful.

Stargazers are advised to look out for the brightest one, Venus, and then draw an imaginary line east to west to find Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter. The most challenging planet to spot will be Mercury, which will be hovering right on the horizon, and may be blocked from view by trees or houses. So it’s a good idea to find a clear vista or a rooftop in order to spot this natural wonder. The best time to see the alignment will be before dawn from January 20 through January 24.

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