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Spectacular "planet parade" will be visible tonight

In a special late-year event, all of the planets in our solar system will be visible together in the sky tonight. About half an hour after sunset, the planets will line up from the southwest to the eastern sky.

Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars can be viewed with the naked eye, (and in that order). Uranus and Neptune can be viewed with a telescope or binoculars.

Look for Uranus between Mars and Jupiter, while Neptune can be spotted between Saturn and Jupiter.

According to, the five planets visible with the naked eye will line up in the sky starting from the southwestern horizon. 

With Mercury being the smallest planet in the solar system, it may require a telescope for viewing if the sky is not dark enough. Mercury is also located next to the ultra-vivid Venus, which is 70 times brighter. Look for Venus about 30 minutes after sunset, before it vanishes 40 minutes later. 

According to The Guardian, Jupiter will appear brighter than all of the stars and will be high in the southern sky. Meanwhile, Saturn will glow with a golden color when it emerges in the southwest sky. 

All eight planets will appear just 1.5 degrees apart, and are set to reach their closest point – or conjunction – on December 29 at 2100 GMT. This special event occurs about once every one to two years. 

The moon will also join tonight’s planet parade, appearing as a waxing crescent between Jupiter and Saturn.

Gianluca Masi, an astronomer with the Virtual Telescope Project, told Newsweek: “These nights, we can see all the planets of our solar system at a glance, soon after sunset. It happens from time to time, but it is always a spectacular sight.

By Chrissy Sexton, Editor

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