Rare Planetary Alignment

Don’t Miss This Month’s Rare Planetary Alignment

Five planets will appear together in the sky—all visible to the naked eye


The five planets will be visible to the naked eye, but a telescope can add another layer of delight (Alan Dyer, Inc/Visuals Unlimited/Corbis)

By Marissa Fessenden

smithsonian.com January 20, 2016

Step outside this week into the chilly predawn to see the planet Mercury peak over the horizon. Then trace an arc across the sky to pick out Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. All five will be visible together for the first time since 2005. Read more.