Five planets will be visible in the sky this week.
Which sounds incredibly exciting, of course! But there is the small catch of having to get up very, very early—or, staying up and hitting the sack after you’ve caught a sight.
Two hours before sunrise on Sunday, July 19, the five planets will be visible to the naked eye. Providing we’re blessed with clear skies, that is.
Remember to have your compasses (or apps, because 2020) at the ready to make sure you’re looking in the right spots!
It is claimed that Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will all be visible simultaneously. You may have caught a glimpse of some of these during the lockdown, with many planet sightings occurring throughout March and April. However, how often do you get to see them all together?
If you’re willing to be up two hours before sunrise, check out the view. Experts say you might need some binoculars to get the best view of Mercury, but the other four will all be easier to spot with the naked eye. (That said, a pair of binoculars will give you an enhanced view of all five planets, so it depends how nerdy you want to get here.)
You’ll catch Jupiter and Saturn in the southwestern sky, and the small red dot of Mars will be visible in the southeastern horizon. Mercury will be visible, though hard to see, from about 45 minutes before sunrise in the northeast. Venus—the brightest planet—will also rise in the northeast.
This rare site will be well worth the early rise (or late bedtime), with five planets in view as you stand on the sixth. Sadly, Uranus and Neptune will not be joining the party this time.