Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Five Planets Align in a Celestial Spectacle

International Space Station and 5 planets to be visible from Singapore this weekend
(Photos taken at Caldecott Hill using the SkyView app to create a composite showing the planets' relative positions)

Stargazers in Singapore are in for a treat this weekend as the International Space Station (ISS) will make an appearance in our skies along with Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus and Mercury.
According to the Science Centre Observatory Facebook page, the ISS will be visible tomorrow morning (Jan 30) between 6.02am and 6.05am as it makes its pass across the sky.

“You should see it as a very bright point of light — nearly as bright as Jupiter — skimming the horizon just below Venus,” said the science centre.

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5 most romantic spots to watch the five planets

OUT of activities to do for date night this week? Perhaps you can consider watching the five planets in the sky with your significant other; yesterday all five planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter) appeared in the morning sky together. This is the first time it has happened in 11 years, and this spectacle will only be here until Feb 20.

And since the best time to see all five planets in the sky is in the early morning – specifically between 5.45am and 6.15am, perhaps you can switch date night out for a morning date instead, full with picnic mat, coffee, eggs and toast.

So, where can you go to see this spectacle? Actually, it doesn’t matter where you are – as long as you have a clear view of the eastern horizon, you will be able to see the planets, said Mr Albert Lim assistant honorary secretary of the Astronomical Society of Singapore. Given good weather and clear skies, of course. We decided to compile five of the most romantic spots to view the five planets:
  • East Coast Park
  • Marina Barrage
  • Telok Blangah Hill Park
  • Pulau Ubin
  • Lower Seletar Reservoir Park
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Rare celestial show: 5 planets to be visible at once from Singapore

Singaporeans will be able to view a rare astronomical alignment over the next weeks, with five planets — Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus and Mercury — set to appear together in the skies for the time in a decade.

The celestial conjunction will last from today (Jan 20) until the end of February, with Jan 27 offering an extra special view as the Moon will also come into alignment with the five planets.

The best timing to see all five planets will be around 6am, and the one of the best places will be at East Coast Park, said Science Centre Singapore. The planetary parade can also be viewed from one’s home, if there is a high and unobstructed view to the Eastern horizon. There is no need for a telescope, but as Mercury will be very low on the horizon tomorrow, binoculars may be required.

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5 planets visible together in Singapore sky from today

From now until the middle of next month, a celestial spectacle will be visible to those who look to the eastern horizon at dawn.

Five planets - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter - will appear together in the sky for the first time in a decade, and they will be visible to the naked eye in the early hours until Feb 20.

The best time to view the planets is in the early morning, between 5.45am and 6.15am, said Mr Albert Lim, assistant honorary secretary of the Astronomical Society of Singapore (Tasos).

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How to View Five Planets Aligning in a Celestial Spectacle
Five planets paraded across the dawn sky early Wednesday in a rare celestial spectacle set to repeat every morning until late next month.

Headlining the planetary performance are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. It is the first time in more than a decade that the fab five are simultaneously visible to the naked eye, according to Jason Kendall, who is on the board of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York.

Admission to the daily show is free, though stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere should plan to get up about 45 minutes before sunrise to catch it. City dwellers can stay in their neighborhoods to watch, as long as they point their attention to the east, according to Mr. Kendall, who took his telescope to Inwood Hill Park in Manhattan around 4 a.m. Wednesday.
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