Up to five planets will be visible, along with the moon, tomorrow morning. Here’s how early you have to get up.
Up to five planets will be visible, along with the moon, tomorrow morning. Here’s how early you have to get up.

Rare line-up of planets to treat early risers tomorrow

Insomniacs and backyard astronomers are in for a treat tomorrow morning when five planets plus the moon will be visible.

Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn - with a small chance of Mercury - will be on show at once in a rare display.

But you'll have to get up between 4.:30am and 5.45am (Friday July 17) to see it at its best.

While you can see some of the planets with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope will be best.

The moon and Venus will be visible in the northeast. Mars will be overhead, while

Jupiter and Saturn will be low in the west to southwest.

Five planets and the moon should be visible early on Friday.
Five planets and the moon should be visible early on Friday.

Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium Curator Mark Rigby said it was an infrequent event to see the five planets at once.

"Viewers can expect to see a very bright Venus, a crescent moon, the well-known constellation Orion, the Hunter, with the brightest star of the night sky - Sirius - further along,'' Mr Rigby said.

"As twilight brightens the sky after 5.30am, you may be able to see Mercury, very low in the east to northeast.

"We might go several years before seeing it again - and those with binoculars should also use them to get a closer view of the moon and surrounding stars.

"You will also see the red giant star Aldebaran, with its orange colour, and the Pleiades star cluster - which is best seen in binoculars - close to the Moon and Venus.''

Mercury will become easier to see - brighter and further out from the Sun - towards the end of July, but the moon will be in the evening sky by then.''

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner meanwhile said the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens had reopened with two new shows - Europe to the Stars and The Sun: Our Living Star - to enjoy at the venue's giant 12.5 metre Cosmic Skydome.

There were also five children's shows a day.

He said the Council-run planetarium was part of its push to create more things to see and do around the city.

Originally published as Rare line-up of planets to treat early risers tomorrow


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