The planets are about to align: On 20 January, all five bright planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – will appear in a line, visible to the naked eye.

2012 The Awakening

Image Credit: Dr Alan Duffy using SkySafari

  • BY Anne Johnston |
  • January 15, 2016

FROM 20 JANUARY to 20 February, all five visible planets will sit in a line from the horizon to the moon – for the first time since 2005.

Dr Alan Duffy, research fellow at Swinburne University in Melbourne, said that this reasonably rare alignment is “essentially a quirk” of the universe. All the planets sit on a flat plane but have different yearly cycles – so for all five visible planets to happen to line up is “something well worth seeing,” he said.

According to Dr Tanya Hill, senior curator at the Melbourne Planetarium, there will be another chance to view the planets lined up in August, but then not again until October 2018.

What to look out for

From Wednesday 20 January, star gazers will have a 5.30am-5.40am AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) window to get…

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