The planets are lining up!

20 01 2016

I heard on the radio this morning that a rare astronomical event is about to happen. When I say rare, I mean about once every 10 years. Early morning runners who are out before sunrise, should be able to see four and maybe five planets all lined up as if lying on an imaginary diagonal line in the sky – something called the ecliptic plane of their orbits. Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter will be easy to spot but Mercury will also be there, just visible on the horizon just before dawn. The image below is a screenshot from Stellarium, a program that lets you ‘see’ the night sky from any location on Earth, at any time in the past or future. I love it. This is the view I should get looking from Brighton.  My run along the seafront lets me look South out to sea so the planets should all be visible on a clear morning. Although I don’t really need an incentive to go running, especially with marathon training well underway, a little bit of astronomy helps takes the edge of those cold, dark mornings.

4inarow

The night sky looking from Brighton on 25/1/16

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