The Great Planetary Alignment of 2016

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Break out the binoculars because on Wednesday, Jan. 20, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter will all be visible in the sky at the same time.  If you miss it tomorrow night there’s no need to fret, the spectacle will still be visible for the remainder of the month.

For the majority of January, four of the five bright planets have already been visible in the sky; however, Mercury will be joining the group on Wednesday and can be seen in the early morning.

EarthSky reports people living in the mid-to-northern latitudes can see Mercury best about an hour and half before dawn. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s about two hours before sunrise. February 7 is expected to be the best day for viewing our solar system’s closest planet to the sun.

If you’re having a hard time finding the planets, start by locating the moon first.  All five planets will align along the same path that the moon takes as it appears to travel across the sky.

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This rare planetary alignment will be the first time the planets have appeared together in the sky for ten years.  If, for some reason, you miss this 2016 alignment, you won’t have to wait another ten years.  The next five-planet alignment will take place in August.

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