It’s not every day you get to see all the planets in the solar system in the night sky. Luckily, for the next week or so, us antipodeans will get to see every single one at its best — as long as you have a bit of patience and, for two of them, a telescope.
Note: Before you say it, yes, technically there are eight planets in the solar system. If you want to see Earth, well… just look down.
Starting today, five planets in the solar system — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — will be visible to the naked eye. Venus in particular is close to its peak brightness.
You can also see Uranus and Neptune, though you’ll need the help of a telescope.
Meet The New ‘Goblin’ In Our Solar System
Move over, Pluto: There’s a new dwarf planet in our solar system, and its name is the Goblin. Earlier this week, scientists announced the discovery of an “extremely distant object” that supports the existence of a larger Planet X, also known as Planet Nine.
For those in Victoria, you can head down to the St Kilda foreshore, where the Astronomical Society of Victoria will have some telescopes set up.
Things get going from 5:30pm onwards. If you want to see all the planets, it’s recommended you stick around, as the website explains:
In order to bag the whole set of eight, you’ll need to be there for at least a couple of hours; the reason is that two of the planets set early, and one rises later.
While there doesn’t appear to be a dedicated event in Sydney, you can always book a night at the Observatory, with tours starting from 8:30pm.
If you can’t find a telescope, you can at least use an app to find the right spots in the sky. SkyView is a great free option (iOS and Android), though you’ll probably want to shell out the $3 for the full version, which includes the locations of all planets.
Don’t worry if you miss out tonight! You’ll still have time. The planets should remain visible for about a week, however, come October 20-21, Venus will be too close to the sun to be spotted.
Planets In The Solar System, Ranked
Recently, my colleagues had a go at ranking the planets. But it was mostly incorrect. After extensively researching and writing about our solar neighbourhood, I feel I’m fairly qualified to take a stab at ranking these bad boys once and for all.
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