Our Northwest

Stargazers can enjoy rare show of five planets

Friday, January 29, 2016by  Jon Osterberg

Northwest stargazers will be treated to a rare sight for the next two weeks as five planets align and become visible to the naked eye.
     And you don’t need to get up all that early to see it – 6:30 a.m.
     During a 45-minute window, look to the south and you’ll see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
     That’s if the clouds part, of course.
     The alignment peaks between Feb. 4 and Feb. 7, when Mercury reaches its highest point.
     Washington State University astronomer Guy Worthy said in a Vancouver Columbian article that in ancient times, the five planets were the only ones known, because Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are too faint to be seen with the naked eye.
     The last time those five planets shared the morning sky was 2005.

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