Best photos from the EarthSky community of the 5 bright planets now visible at once in the sky before dawn. Thanks to all who posted!
It’s the first time we can see all five bright planets – Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter – at once since 2005. They are up before dawn. Click here for charts and more info. Remember, when you look at them, you are looking edgewise into the plane of our solar system …
View larger. | The 5 planets and the moon on February 5, 2016 by João Pedro Bessa in Portugal.
Eliot Herman wrote on February 3, 2016, when the moon was near Saturn: “The grand alignment of the five planets known to the ancients observed from Tucson AZ foothills. Mercury is only well placed for photography for very few minutes each morning …”
The 5 planets can be seen from around the world. Their orientation to the horizon is different from one part of Earth to another. Denis Crute in Australia caught the 5 planets and the moon from the Southern Hemisphere on February 2, 2016.
John Ashley of Montana wrote: “I climbed Enchanted Rock by moonlight for the first time in 30 years to watch the five bright planets rise together in the pre-dawn sky. This Texas state park is recognized as a dark sky reserve by the International Dark Sky Association.”
Vince Babkirk in Thailand caught the moon and Mars from Thailand on the morning of February 1, 2016.
Gene Porter in Little Mulberry Park, Georgia, wrote on January 30: “Bundled up in three layers of clothes, my hands were numb, but I wanted the elusive Mercury.” In the photo, Mercury is the bright one above the tree. Venus is to the upper right.
View larger. | Paul Schulz of Arizona took this photo of the five morning planets on January 29, at 6:00 a.m.
View larger. | All five planets before dawn on January 29, 2015, from Vince Babkirk – aka Mister Hat – in Hua Hin, Thailand. The moon has just passed Jupiter and will be moving past all the planets in the coming days.
Vince Babkirk in Thailand also caught the video above on the morning of January 29. It’s the International Space Station passing between the moon and Jupiter.
View larger. | Composite of the 5 planets before dawn – January 28, 2016 – by Rod Cerkoney in Fort Collins, Colorado.
View larger. | On the morning of January 28, 2016, the moon could be seen near Jupiter. The moon will move past all 5 planets from late January to early February. Photo taken morning of January 28 by Ben Zavala in Dallas, Texas. Thanks, Ben!
On the morning of January 27, Clarise Samuels in Montreal wrote: “I was pleased to get Earth’s moon and Jupiter’s moons in the same picture.”
The moon and Jupiter are so bright that they could be seen from inside large cities. Here they are over Singapore on the morning of January 27, 2016. Photo by A. Kannan.
Five planets before dawn, by Juan Carlos Murillo in Barcelona, Spain. Photo taken the morning of January 27, 2016. On this morning, the moon was just outside the field of view, to the right of Jupiter.
View larger. | Steve Pauken wrote, “Monday morning, January 27, 2016, we caught all 5 visible planets from Winslow, Arizona.” He said this photo is a composite of seven images. Camera settings are 2 sec., F2.8, ISO 1250. Thanks, Steve!
On the morning of January 26, many on the U.S. East Coast saw the moon with a halo around it, and Jupiter near the moon. Photo by Rosie Casper Hinkle in Gaston County, North Carolina.
Lynne Pitts in New Hampshire caught the lunar halo, too, on the night of January 25-26.
View larger. | Five planets before dawn, by Patrick Cabaret in France. Photo taken January 25, 2016.
View larger. | Five planets before dawn, with insets showing the telescopic view, by Greg Hogan in Kathleen, Georgia. Photo taken January 24, 2016.
All 5 bright planets became visible when Mercury popped into view – near the sunrise – around the last week of January. Here they are over Somerset, U.K., on January 23, 2016. Photo by Paul Howell. Thanks, Paul!
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.