Oh, what a treat for Malaysians! A spectacular celestial show will take place until February and apparently, we’ll get to see it.

According to Accuweather, 5 planets located closest to Earth will align in the sky in a spectacle that hasn’t occurred since 2005. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will all appear in the sky from now until the end of February, giving people around the world plenty of opportunities to view the rare astronomical alignment.

All 5 planets will arrange on an arc across the sky. Mercury will appear the closest to the horizon, followed by Venus, Saturn, Mars & Jupiter. The stars Antares & Spica will make cameos as well, twinkling between Saturn & Mars, & Mars & Jupiter, respectively. (Source: Sky & Telescope)
All 5 planets will arrange on an arc across the sky. Mercury will appear the closest to the horizon, followed by Venus, Saturn, Mars & Jupiter. The stars Antares & Spica will make cameos as well, twinkling between Saturn & Mars, & Mars & Jupiter, respectively. (Source: Sky & Telescope)

The best part is that we won’t need a telescope to see it because with clear skies and good eyesight, the phenomenon should be visible with the naked eye.

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Stargazers on the other end of the globe will be able to witness this at dawn but for us Malaysians, the optimum time to see it is sometime after 8pm.

According to EarthSky, the celestial conjunction will last from today until the end of February, with 27th January offering an extra special view as the Moon will also come into alignment with the 5 planets. Jupiter and Venus will be the brightest of the planets.

Another good opportunity to get the best view of the planets will be on the weekend just before Chinese New Year. This will be when Mercury, located near both the Moon and Venus, will be the easiest to spot.

Five Planets Align
Source: Reuters

One easy tip to distinguish the planets from regular stars is to close one eye, stretch out your arm and slowly pass your thumb over a bright dot in the sky, Jason Kendall, a member of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York, told The New York Times. If the dot slowly dims out when your thumb passes over it, it’s a planet. If it quickly blinks out, it’s a distant star.

Go ahead! See if you can spot them. Good luck 🙂

Sources: MMO, EarthSkyAccuweather, The Telegraph, The New York Times / Featured image from Reuters.

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Lainey
Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.