I read somewhere that counting from today, five planets will be aligned during almost two weeks IIRC. The planets are : Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury and... us. I know Jupiter and Mars can be seen with the naked eye, but I would really like to catch a glimpse of Saturn.

Assuming one does not own a telescope, but small binoculars, how can one maximize his chances of seeing at least Mars, Jupiter and Saturn ?

  • $\begingroup$ Saturn is quite bright and can be seen with the naked eye. You might try a free program like Stellarium to see how things will look. $\endgroup$ – user21 Jan 21 '16 at 16:37

All these planets are naked eye objects, and except for Mercury, are easy to see. Venus is also part of this grouping, Meaning that all 5 planets known to ancient astronomers are on the same side of the Earth. (and the sun is on the other)

The planets are not exactly "aligned", just they are all visible in the sky, spread over a wide part of the south eastern sky, a little while before dawn.

Sky and Telescope has some nice guides to what you can expect. Mercury is always the hardest, as it is always in the twilight. Saturn is an easy sight, appearing as a slightly yellow star. Binoculars will show its moon, Titan.

Best time is around the first week of Feb about 45 min before dawn.


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