Rare 'treat' for skywatchers: All solar system planets visible to the naked eye

Rare 'treat' for skywatchers: All solar system planets visible to the naked eye

Such "grand tours" as per Space happen roughly once every one or two years.

On Wednesday, astronomy buffs witnessed what experts regard as a rare astronomical event where all the planets in the solar system were visible in the night sky.

In the Northern Hemisphere, Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars could be seen with the naked eye. While, the two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune could be seen using binoculars or telescopes and would be visible until the end of the year.

Such "grand tours" as per Space happen roughly once every one or two years.

As per Guardian, all eight planets appeared only 1.5 degrees apart on Wednesday night and will reach their closest point or conjunction today (Thursday, December 29) at 2100 GMT (0230 IST).

Rare 'treat' for skywatchers: All solar system planets visible to the naked eye
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Talking to Newsweek, Gianluca Masi, an astronomer with the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, said "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."

In June, skywatchers were treated to a similar but rarer alignment of five planets, where Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were arranged in an alignment the likes of which hadn't occurred in about 150 years, or since 1864.

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