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Moon, Regulus, Jupiter begin planet parade

Tonight – January 25, 2016 – the waning gibbous moon and bright star Regulus will appear near each other in our sky. Jupiter will be nearby. These three objects will head up a parade of planets into our sky that you won’t want to miss!

The moon and Regulus climb over the eastern horizon together around 7 to 8 p.m. local time. That’s the time on your clock from Northern Hemisphere locations. At temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, look for the twosome – the moon and Regulus – to rise about an hour later. From around the world, however, the twosome – the moon and Regulus – will be up by mid-evening. And, by the way, when we say mid-evening, we mean about midway between sunset and midnight.

After the moon and Regulus rise, look for the dazzling planet Jupiter to follow them into the starry sky by around 9 to 10 p.m. Before going to bed tonight, look eastward to view the moon and Regulus, and the dazzling planet Jupiter beneath them.

Jupiter presents the first of tonight’s grand procession of all five visible planets.

Mars rises next, following Jupiter into the starry sky an hour or so after midnight at mid-northern latitudes.

Saturn is the third planet to come up, around 4 a.m.

Venus, the fourth planet to arise, lights up the southeast sky a couple hours before sunrise, and Mercury, at the caboose of the planet parade, rises some 80 minutes before the sun.

If you get up before sunrise, and see all five planets together … that’ll be something special! We haven’t been able to see them simultaneously like this since 2005, 10 years ago.

Luckily, the five-planet parade will last awhile, until about mid-February, 2016.

Beginning around January 20 - through mid-February - you can see five bright planets at once in the predawn sky.

In late January – through mid-February – you can see five bright planets at once in the predawn sky. We haven’t been able to see five planets simultaneously since 2005. Read more.

By the way, the exact rising times of the planets vary worldwide. To know more precisely when they rise into your sky, we invite you to check out the links on our almanac page.

Bottom line: The moon, Regulus and Jupiter are out on the night of January 25-26 from mid-evening until dawn. At the edge of night, or the first stirrings of morning twilight, you have the chance to view all five visible planets taking stage in the same sky. Read more: See all five bright planets simultaneously!

Bruce McClure