Four planets huddle up before dawn next week

May 06, 2011
Look east before dawn next week to spy four planets. HD animation and high-resolution graphics available from StarDate Media. The animation is also available on YouTube.

Four of the five planets visible to the unaided eye huddle quite close together in the pre-dawn sky next week, according to the editors of StarDate magazine.

On the morning of May 10, Venus and Jupiter will stand side by side, quite low in the east, as dawn brightens. If you have a horizon clear of buildings and trees, they will be easy to spot. They are the brightest objects in the after the moon. Venus is the brighter of the two. Jupiter is to its left.

Mercury is visible to the lower right of Venus, about the same distance as Venus is to Jupiter. It isn't nearly as bright, but its proximity to Venus will help you find it. Finally, Mars is about twice as far to the lower left of . It's so low and faint that it will be difficult to see, but may help.

The planets remain huddled together for several days, changing positions day by day. The best view is from the southern states because the path the follow across the sky (the ecliptic) stands at a little higher angle relative to the horizon.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Four of the five planets visible to the unaided eye huddle quite close together in the pre-dawn sky May 9-12, according to the editors of StarDate magazine.


Explore further: MAVEN Mars spacecraft to begin orbit of Red Planet

More information: Published bi-monthly by The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory, StarDate magazine provides readers with skywatching tips, skymaps, beautiful astronomical photos, astronomy news and features, and a 32-page Sky Almanac each January.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

STAR TRAK for May 2011

May 06, 2011

The closest gathering of four bright planets in decades will be on display low in the eastern sky before dawn during May.

Planets party in the morning April 28-May 1

Apr 26, 2011

Set your alarm clocks for an early treat about a half an hour before sunrise on Thursday April 28 through Sunday, May 1, 2011, as there will be a planetary delight in store! Go out and with either a pair of ...

STAR TRAK for February: Mars puts on its best show

Feb 01, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Mars will be at its highest and brightest for the year during February, coming into view in the east as evening twilight fades. The red planet was closest to Earth in its orbit on Jan. 27, ...

STAR TRAK for May

May 04, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- After sunset each evening in May, look to the west-northwest to see the planet Venus as a beautiful "evening star," the brightest point of light in the sky.

Recommended for you

Internet moguls Musk, Bezos shake up US space race

Sep 20, 2014

The space race to end America's reliance on Russia escalated this week with a multibillion dollar NASA award for SpaceX's Elon Musk and an unexpected joint venture for Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jumojack
not rated yet May 08, 2011
On the same day, somebody talks about a "foreseen Earthquake" in Rome. (try searching "terremoto roma 2011")
Maybe this "somebody" thought that planets being close each other could cause the earthquake...
http://technews.it/aZPKZ

jumojack
not rated yet May 08, 2011
The above news in English:
http://technews.it/UUDdI