spaceSpace and PhysicsspaceAstronomy

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn Are About To Align


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockJan 15 2016, 20:14 UTC
683 Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn Are About To Align
Tim the Finn/Shutterstock

This month will see a passing moment where Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn – the five planets visible from Earth by the naked eye – will appear in a line from the horizon to the Moon.

The alignment of these five earthly neighbors will be visible from Wednesday, January 20 to Saturday, February 20.


Dr. Tanya Hill, senior curator at the Melbourne Planetarium, told Australian Geographic that if you don't catch the allignment this month, you’ll be able to see it again in August of this year, and then again in October 2018.

Dr. Alan Duffy, research fellow at Swinburne University in Melbourne, also spoke to Australian Geographic and gave some advice on how best to see the alignment.

Since Mercury will appear very close to the horizon, find a nice open spot, away from tall buildings or trees. Getting as far away from city lights is also advisable, so each planet's glow isn't too drowned out by light pollution.


Venus and Jupiter, however, should be fairly easy to spot and Mars’ distinctive red glow should give itself away. If you can find one of these planets, just hold up your arm so it’s in line with it and the Moon – the rest should fall vaguely in line with your arm.

“There are only a few amazing things in the night sky that can be seen without any equipment,” Dr. Duffy said, adding that this is “something well worth seeing.”

spaceSpace and PhysicsspaceAstronomy
  • tag
  • space,

  • Saturn,

  • Mars,

  • mercury,

  • venus,

  • jupiter,

  • planets,

  • Astronomy