HARTFORD — If you look up into the sky at night over the next month, you may be in for a real treat.
Five planets are now visible to the naked eye and can be seen all at once!
According to the Washington Post, Jupiter became visible at 9:53 p.m. on January 14, and it will continue to be quite bright and easy to spot no matter how close to the city you are. Each day it will reach its highest point in the sky just before dawn in the southwest sky.
Next up each night is Mars, which becomes visible around 1:30 a.m., followed by Saturn at 4:30 a.m. and Venus just before 5 a.m. Saturn and Venus will appear quite close to each other, but you can tell them apart because Venus will be very bright, where as Saturn will be quite dim.
The fifth planet–Mercury–started showing up on January 20, and can be seen after 6 a.m. According to Earth Sky, a publication recommended by NASA, this is the first time that all five planets are visible together since January 2005, and the phenomenon will last about a month.
The best time to view all five planets is about 45 minutes before sunrise, or around 6:15 a.m. If you’re looking straight south at that time, you’ll see Mars pretty high in the sky. About 50 degrees west, in the southwest sky, you can see Jupiter very high on the horizon. Then, moving east from Mars, you will see Saturn first, just a bit lower than Mars on the horizon but about 30 degrees east. Venus will be a bit more east than Saturn and a bit lower, followed by Mercury, which will be pretty low on the horizon about 60 degrees east of Mars.
If all that sounds a bit complicated, you’re in luck: between January 27 and February 6, the moon’s position will help guide you, as seen in the photos below:
The phenomenon will happen again soon, from August 13 to August 19, but it will be difficult to see Mercury and Venus from this far north.