Night viewing – planets easier to see and meteor showers

A treat for stargazers until the end of August, with five planets moving into alignment, making them easier to see.

Andre Claydon from Springbrook Observatory says Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter will be clearly visible with the naked eye.

He said they are all on the same side of the sun.  This won’t happen again until October 2018.


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“These will be fairly evident because Jupiter and Saturn are fairly large objects and they’re quite bright – Mars has got that nice red tinge to it and Venus will be the brightest object in the sky at the time.

“You need to just go outside, lie down on the grass and take in from horizon to horizon, from east to west and you should be able to see these reasonably easy.

“Just cast that line across the sky exactly where the sun has been and those planet will be almost in alignment with that.

While Mr Claydon said binoculars and telescopes aren’t essential he did say the view will “get even better because you can see the rings of Saturn, you can see the bands going around Jupiter which are called the temperate zone, so you can actually distinguish these things relatively easily”.

There are also several meteor showers combining at the moment to put on a firework like show in the night sky.