Look Up! The Five Bright Planets Are Aligned

Video highlights from Live From Space

Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible until 20 February

For the first time since 2005, it’s now possible to see all five bright planets aligned together in the sky.

Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter are currently stretched in a line that starts low in the east to high in the north.

The line formed by the planets closely follows the path of the sun across the sky, explains Melbourne Planetarium’s senior astronomer Dr Tanya Hill.

"This path marks the plane of our solar system, visual proof that the planets, including Earth, all orbit the Sun on roughly the same plane," she said.

Mercury rises out of the early morning glow to complete the full set of five bright planets.

[Image: Museum Victoria]

You’ll have to get up early to see the planets at their brightest – the best time to see the rare celestial show is an hour before dawn.

The other planets have been visible since the beginning of the year, but Mercury has only just transitioned into a morning object.

"At first, it will appear quite low to the eastern horizon and of all the planets it is also the faintest, so it will be hard to see to begin with," Dr Hill said.

"However, Mercury will continue to rise higher each morning and by early February it will sit just below bright Venus."

In early February, spaces fans will have another reason to leap out of bed when the International Space Station flies over Australia.

The ISS is expected to be visible from Brisbane on 5 February, Sydney on 7 February and Melbourne on 9 February.

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