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Sky Phenomenon Planet Parade: Five planets in a row

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This planet parade occurs only every ten years

We only get to see this every ten years: the five planets Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter are visible to the naked eye. In which direction you have to look ...

It is worth getting up early, because it is not often that all visible to the naked eye planets of the solar system can be seen together at a glance in the sky.

Now in January and February 2016, it's time again, more specifically between the 28th of January and the 2nd of February.

Late in the evening it starts: first appears in the southeast Jupiter, then from about two o'clock at night Mars, then Saturn, Venus and finally also the small Mercury. All five planets are visible in the morning at just before 8 o'clock. They walk the ecliptic, that is, the orbit of the sun seen from the earth, running in series, from east to west.

Unfortunately, the ecliptic in winter is quite flat to the east horizon. Therefore, it could be a real challenge to detect even the little Mercury at dusk around 8 o'clock in the morning. An absolutely cloudless sky and binoculars help with the search.

So we see the individual planets in the "Planet Parade Supreme"

Look south. Imagine a line that moves from east (left of you) to west diagonally from bottom to top across the sky.

Mercury is the planet that wanders the sun the next. That is why we seldom see it with the naked eye, for it is usually "hidden" by the bright sun. Also in the planet parade we will see him only a short time (about 45 minutes) before sunrise very weak in the southeast on the horizon.

We know the Venus as "morning" and as "evening star". It is the planet between Mercury and Earth, and therefore the second closest to the sun. It is heavily irradiated by the sun and therefore shines particularly bright morning and evening from the perspective of the earth, then it also weakens, until it is "hidden" by the bright sun like Mercury. Also in the planet parade she will shine brightly right next to the faintly glowing Mercury.

The great Saturn shines only weakly because of its great distance from the sun. We see him right next to Venus.

In addition, Mars shines, the red planet is also well recognized on Earth by its orange-red color. We see him to the south.

Jupiter can be seen in the upper right next to it in the southwest. It shines very bright and is therefore clearly visible to us.

The Moon will also run the path of the Planet Parade between January 28 and February 2. You can use it as a guide. On January 28, he is near Jupiter, on February 1 he is near Mars. On February 3, he approaches Saturn and Venus on February 5, but Mercury is no longer visible to us.

We now hope for a clear, cloudless view!


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