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Tue May 10, 2011
Four planets can be seen as morning breaks
On a clear night, we can catch a glimpse of certain planets with the unaided eye.
The five "naked eye planets" are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
If you're lucky, you could catch four of them at once in the next few days - Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter.
From Star Date Magazine:
On the morning of May 10, Venus and Jupiter will stand side by side, quite low in the east, as dawn brightens. So long as you have a horizon clear of buildings and trees, they will be easy to spot. They are the brightest objects in the night sky after the Moon. Venus is the brighter of the two; Jupiter is to its left.
Mercury is visible to the lower right of Venus, about the same distance as Venus is to Jupiter. It isn't nearly as bright, but its proximity to Venus will help you find it. Finally, Mars is about twice as far to the lower left of Jupiter. It's so low and faint that it will be difficult to see, but binoculars may help.
They say the planets are best viewed in the south, but if you have an unimpeded view of the horizon, you could catch them up here as well.