"Five planets could be visible in the early morning sky from today for the first time in more than a decade as a rare alignment takes place.
Experts say that at least four planets — Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — will appear in the sky. With good weather it may be possible to see Mercury as well.
The planets will be visible in a diagonal line from the Moon to the horizon. The alignment, last seen in 2005, was due to be visible this morning but astronomers expect the best view on Friday morning, February 5.
Robert Massey, of the Royal Astronomical Society, said that Mercury would appear just three degrees above the horizon, making it tricky to find, but that the other planets should be visible before dawn. He suggested that people should try to see them all together. “There will be a dance of the planets and now is the time to get out and have a look,” he said. “It will be well worth getting up for.”
As well as the planets, the stars Antares and Spica will be visible in the same patch of sky. Venus will be the easiest planet to pick out and Dr Massey suggested looking for it and finding the rest from there. “If you have binoculars, you will be able to see Jupiter’s moons and the red tinge of Mars,” he said. “You probably won’t be able to see Saturn’s rings but it will have a funny shape.
“Venus will be very obvious in the southeast and Saturn will be a little bit higher up to the right. Further over at due south you’ll see Mars and way beyond in the southeast will be Jupiter.”
The phenomenon is expected to take place again in August. After that the planets will not be in alignment until October 2018."