The planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter will be visible in the sky to the naked eye from January 20 to February 20, 2016. These planets will appear at dawn, lining up in a diagonal row.
Early morning risers will have a special gift from the skies when five of the eight planets of the solar system will be visible to the naked eye and lining up in a diagonal row from January 20 to February 20 of this year. The five planets will be Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter.
Neptune and Pluto are never visible to Earth without the use of a telescope. Uranus, however, occasionally becomes visible, but for this particular event, the planet is not part of the line-up.
For Australians, the best view of the alignment is from 5:30 to 5:40 AM (Australian Eastern Daylight Time). The planets will be lining up between the horizon and the moon. Mercury is the nearest to the horizon, therefore, those who want to see the planet must find a flat location in order to get the line-up with Mercury included.
"Mercury will be very difficult to see. Jupiter will be in the west at sunrise, but the other ones should be easy to spot," says Joe DiNapoli, the Staten Island coordinator for the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York.
He also added that unlike stars, planets do not twinkle. This should mean that it is possible to differentiate the planets from other celestial objects by virtue of their stationary light.
Though the planets can easily be seen by the naked eye, astronomers are highly recommending the use of binoculars. This could get the stargazer a better view of the planets' individual characteristics.
However, note that the weather should also cooperate. A cloudy dawn will essentially cover the planets.
The last time this phenomenon occurred was in 2005.