Planets in the sky: A treat for stargazers

Throughout the month of October 2015, stargazers will get a treat in the night sky. All 5 visible planets can be seen in the sky at different points of the night!

2015-october-17-moon-saturn-antares

Saturn is visible in the southwestern sky near the horizon just after sunset each night through the month, but don’t mistake it for the nearby bright star, Antares. It is redder in color, and twinkles more furiously, than Saturn. The real show starts just before sunrise.

2015-october-17-mercury-mars-jupiter-venus

Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus are all visible in the eastern sky one hour and fifteen minutes before sunrise throughout October.

All five planets should be easily view-able with the naked eye, but binoculars or a telescope will definitely help!

 

All five planets will not be visible at the same time in the sky in October, but they will be soon. They’ll appear above the horizon simultaneously in the predawn/dawn sky from about January 20 to February 20, 2016 so be sure to mark your calendar. The last time all five visible planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) appeared in the same sky together was over 10 years ago, from December 15, 2004, to January 15, 2005.

 

Bottom line: All five visible planets can be seen on October 2015 nights. Saturn is up in the evening, and Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter are up before dawn.

Happy hunting!

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